No one likes speaking to an angry person, but this scenario is even more difficult to handle when the person is a client of yours.
This is a unique relationship where you have to tread very carefully to make sure the client is left happy, lest they take their business elsewhere.
Unfortunately, you will not always be able to fix the problem the client is having, but you can still save the professional relationship with these tips.
Read on to find out how to deal with an irate client over the phone in a professional manner.
If you will to take away anything from reading this article, it’s this – remain calm!
It’s easy to yell back when someone is yelling at you, or to answer something rudely when the other party is being rude to you.
However, that will likely be the end of your relationship with your client once and for all.
No matter how upset or irate the customer is, you need to do everything in your power to remain calm.
Take a deep breath, and count to twenty silently to help yourself control your temper.
Let the Client Vent
Many times, a client just needs to vent about what is making them upset.
It is not a good idea to interrupt them, even if you already have a solution, or know what they will say.
A great tactic is to hit the mute button on your phone to drown out noise on your end, and let the client take as long as they need expressing their frustrations.
Most of the time, when the customer has said everything they wanted to say, they will feel better and end up apologising for their behaviour.
Relate to Them
The fact is that we cannot always solve the customer’s issue, but what we can do is offer our support and show them that we relate to them.
Unfortunately, many professionals don’t realise this, and try to prove to the client why they are wrong, which simply infuriates them further.
Expressing to the client that you understand how they feel, and would feel the same in their place, will validate their feelings.
As well, feel out the customer to see what response they may be looking for.
“Some customers have high technical knowledge; some need high-level explanations,” recommends themuse.com.
“Some need extra reassurance that things are going to be OK; others don’t want to waste time unless you can offer a solution on the spot.”
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 30 November, 2016
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