Here are a few things you can definitely add to your customer rep training …. No thanks required, it is my job as angry incontinent customer to help !
1. Staying impersonal:
Always remember you are just a representative. No matter how angry or upset customer is, it is your job to remember he/she is upset at the company, not you personally. ( although it is difficult to be sure, sometimes).
Do not add to the situation by trying to get personal about it yourself. Do not threaten the customer. And definitely do not say ‘your money is in our hands, so you can’t do anything’. ( adding ‘la la la’ at the end of that is even worse – CSRs must never sing, ever! )
Even if that statement is true, ( and sadly, too true), it is a stupid and provocative thing to say.
You are not talking to your spouse or boyfriend, so do not get involved in winning the argument with a customer. ( Although it is tempting, isn’t it, since you are unattainable as God himself, and they cant find you and come break your legs, as they fantasize fondly).
You are not in a debate team, and there are no points to score. You are here to help. If you are not helping, you and your company are losing. (losing customers, that is)
2. Supervisors help:
If the customer asks to speak to the supervisor, it is your job to transfer them to the appropriate level supervisor. The customer asks for such people not to complain about you, but to sort out things with someone who has more power and authority. (Ok, maybe also to complain about you, if you sang ‘la la la’ at them, which is why you must never sing, ever). They may be able to help, where you are not authorized. Never refuse, and definitely don’t say there is no supervisor, which is as silly as saying there is no CEO. We all know there is always a supervisor. ( Just like we all know there is a God – we just don’t know which city he is based in, or if he has ever answered a call)
3. Anger :
A calm voice and controlled speech is useful in convincing the customer that you are there to help. A customer may be angry because his expectations were not met, and occasionally raise his voice, but there is no reason for you to be angry and do the same. You are just doing a job answering the phone. ( arent you? Unless you are here to steal our credit card information, and sell it to the highest bidder) You are not the one getting bad service or bad product, so remember to stay calm. ( and don’t sing ‘la la la’, even in the calmest, most soothing, dulcet tone, ever !)
4. Understand your job :
The company makes and sells a product, and manages the service. ( We hope! ) If they are doing it badly, it is their fault, not yours (unless you sang ‘la la la‘, after we told you not to). Your job is to help in making this situation a little better by being as helpful as you can be to the customer. They will appreciate it. They will be more patient as long as they feel they are being listened to, ( and not sung to, get it?)
5. Talk less, help more:
If there is nothing you can do to help, then just say so, and don’t say anything else. Don’t make a bad situation worse. (dont sing ‘la la la‘) Know when to say nothing and just listen. Don’t make it worse by yelling at the customer, trying to outtalk them, trying to be smart or saying things that are obviously not true, and even unnecessary (unless you are being paid for how many words you speak). Talk less. Provide information, not opinions. Do not accept provocation, and do not offer it. Lost tempers are as good as lost revenues. ( and do I need to add, lost revenues means lost jobs. Your job! )
Take some pride in the job you are doing. You may feel at times like an underpaid, overworked whipping boy for angry customers, ( hey, it aint all roses being a customer and dealing with people like you, either) but often it is the case that your helpful attitude is the only thing encouraging the customers to come back, and stay loyal. (and the fact that you don’t sing ‘la la la’, ever)
7. Importance of temperament :
If you cannot control your emotions and blood pressure even after all this training, and most call center reps are very young and immature as well, (codewords for untrainable) so that makes it difficult, you may not be suited for this profession, which demands patience, maturity and where every day is a test. Find a job that suits you better, in that case ( if there is one, I need hardly add. And wherever you go, do not sing ‘la la la’, unless you are paid to frustrate people – most jobs let you frustrate people for free.)
Think about these things, dear AFCSR, and maybe next time, I will come back a loyal customer ( assuming the Russian mafia doesn’t now own my credit card. And they don’t like people who sing ‘la la la’ either).