In any type of business, conflicts will happen. Sooner or later, but they will come.
Yet, conflicts themselves don’t have to be bad for your business. Alternatively, almost always you can turn them into something good. But it’s the way you react that’s the most important.
The way you handle conflicts and try to resolve them will signify how it impacts your business.
While talking about conflict resolution is easy, making it happen is much different. And when it comes to customer service conflicts are more than inevitable, thus you have to not only read about how to make it happen but also learn about it.
Here, I’m going to layout 10 easy and actionable tips that you can use to resolve any conflict in your customer service.
Read them, put them into action, and learn them as the conflicts that are put away, will negatively impact your customer retention, loyalty, and the way your company and brand is perceived.
Don’t work for bad blood. Instead, learn how to react and make your customers fall in love with your brand!
1. Allow customers to talk
Angry customers are probably the hardest to communicate with. Oftentimes, it seems like interrupting them would be the best thing to do. Yet, it can do the most harm.
To properly handle angry customers you should let them speak. Of course, it’s not like you should let them say whatever they want. There are certain boundaries that no side should go over.
As long as the customers complain about the product or service let them speak. Expressing their emotions will help them release the frustration and bring the conversation to the point where you’ll be able to calmly resolve the problem.
2. Show you care
The reason why customers call customer service agents and do not choose emails or chatbots is that they crave human interaction.
When you’re in a rush looking for a resolution, it’s much easier to explain it to another human who can understand your struggle that to a machine or an inbox.
The important thing here is to use this fact and show empathy whenever you can. This is what makes or brakes the way your customer service is perceived. If you show that you genuinely care to resolve the problem as quickly as possible your customer will surely give you back by staying with your company for a longer period.
3. Use the correct tone
In a day to day talks, we do not pay too much attention to the tone of our voice. We speak naturally, sometimes even if someone doesn’t like it. The same can’t be said when it comes to customer service reps.
Here, you have to adjust the tone of your voice to the way your callers feel.
If a person over the phone is said don’t try to be overly happy and rather sympathize with them.
Use the tone of your voice to convey empathy and show that you understand why they feel the way they feel.
An angry customer is bad enough, you don’t want to make him even angrier.
For that reason, you also don’t want to forget about anything crucial he says. And that’s why you need to focus.
This means you can’t let anything distract you or steal your attention. If you’re working in a noisy environment the good idea might be to use call center headsets that are designed for crowded spaces.
Another solution might be to find an empty room or conference hall to talk to the customers in a more quiet space.
All in all, make sure you’re focused on a call and you do your best to help the customer.
5. Set limits
As I’ve mentioned before, there are certain limits that your callers should never break.
This means, no matter how angry a customer might be, he or she can never take the call to the personal level. As long as the call is on the topic of a product or service, customers may say whatever they want.
Yet, as soon, as the customer gets angry for the customer service agent as the reason for his anger and frustration then you should be able to finish the call.
If a caller breaks the boundaries kindly inform him or her that if such behavior continues you’ll hang up.
Try to do everything you can to resolve an issue even if the customer is angry (after all, he might have a good reason for it) but don’t let break the boundaries.
6. Use the Feedback
Productive feedback is one of the most powerful actions you can take to improve your customer service and resolve any future conflict. Even more, you can use it to not let such a conflict ever happen again!
The way to do it is quite easy.
First, you have to realize what the problem is. Why is that customers call you and keep having a particular issue? Dive deep to find the root of the problem and fix that in the first place.
Then monitor whether changes you’ve made led to a lesser number of tickets regarding that issue.
If so, pat yourself on the back. If not, again, try to get into the root of the problem and fix it first.
Continue the whole process of fixing, monitoring, and readjusting as long as it takes you to the actual resolution of the issue.
7. Communicate clearly
No matter how advanced your product or service is, people who use it might not be as tech-, bio-, web-, or whatever-savy as you think.
And that’s why you have to communicate clearly and using suitable words. That doesn’t mean that you have to always use the 3rd-grade vocabulary.
The best practice would be to assess how proficient your caller is and talk to him in a way he will understand and will be able to take actions using what you’ve said.
On the other hand, communicating clearly is not a choice but a must. Your customers should understand without the need for repetition. Also, you don’t want them to run into another problem because of the unclear solution you presented.
All in all, to speak clearly is one of the essential rules of phone etiquette. Thus, learn to follow it and use it to better resolve customer service conflicts.
8. Listen actively
Another misconception that you might be a victim of is that you should immediately try to solve the issue. While it should always be your major concern, you shouldn’t be overzealous.
Let your customers speak for themselves and suggest solutions on the way.
Encourage them to go over what happened and what made them so angry. As soon as they explain how they’ve encountered the issue you’ll probably have a good idea of how to resolve it.
This way, you’ll both come to the resolution and satisfy your customer.
9. Acknowledge people's specific needs
While it’s smart to have a set of answers for a given issue it won’t always work the way you want.
Some people will be resistant to particular ideas and you shouldn’t push too hard to convince them. Of course, if you see that the suggested solution would be the best for them then try to explain it using the benefits language.
Therefore, show what the customer will gain if he or she decides on your solution.
Still, if they’re not fond of your suggestion look for another way to help them. Put yourself into their shoes and address exactly what they need and want.
10. Thank the customer
It may sound obvious, but trust me or not, it’s not always practiced.
Whenever customers call you, they actually raise the concern regarding a particular problem. You might not think about it this way, but whenever there’s a ticket that addresses a specific issue this means there’s something to be improved within your company.
Be genuine and thank your customer for the contact. Even the fact that your customers choose to call you instead of quitting is something to say ‘thank you’ for.
If you manage to show how important it is for your company to have satisfied customers then you’ll have satisfied customers!
Ready to resolve customer service conflict!
Well… Now you’re ready to do it all.
Don’t let any customer service conflict ruin your business and brand awareness.
Remember that nowadays, the way your brand is perceived is crucial to how well your business will do. In the past, people didn’t have a choice as there weren’t so many brands targeting the same niche.
Nowadays, if your customers dislike your brand, product or the way they were treated they’ll simply jump into another plane.
Thus, learn each of the 10 tips and use them to resolve every customer service that will happen.
BIO: Jakub Kliszczak is a Marketing Specialist at CrazyCall; a cloud-based calling software that provides customer service teams and sales teams with essential tools to serve their customers and reach new leads. He’s passionate about digital marketing, working on new ideas, and taking things from 0 to 1. In his “free time”, he prefers to read non-fiction and hit the gym.