How to Stay on Santa’s “Nice” List ( When Customers Drive You Crazy)

As much as we all love and appreciate our customers and their business, it’s no secret that some of them have a tendency to drive us insane. Although it can be tempting to be just as “naughty” to them in return, it is the job of the support agent to remain professional under pressure.

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to ensure we remain on our best behavior so that we don’t get coal in our stockings! Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when facing a challenging client:


Apologize

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Sometimes in order to keep the peace, an apology is necessary. This does not always mean you are admitting that you are wrong and the customer is right.

 

It can mean that you are sorry for their frustration or the fact that they are dissatisfied with an aspect of your product. Sometimes, when you use this term, the customer will soften up a bit, giving you an opening to proceed to resolving the issue at hand or finding a way to help them.

 

Use an apology as a mechanism to diffuse the situation and transition between the venting stage to the problem-solving stage.

 

 

Hold

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Sometimes, if a customer says something that is just unbearable or starts treating you with disrespect, it is no crime to inform the customer that you are placing them on hold while you look further into this issue.

 

This will allow you a moment to collect yourself, check in with a colleague for advice or simply double check the notes in their account to see if they are flagged for abusive behavior. No matter what, don’t lose your cool. Remember, it’s not personal.





Focus

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Customers can get worked up in their own frustration, and go on  a never-ending rant of how unsatisfied they are with your product or your service. After apologizing and placing them on hold, there may come a time where you have to remind them why exactly people call customer support lines, and that you are here in order to help them resolve their issue,

Knowledge 

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As much as customers may wish to enter the battlefield with ammunition, they cannot argue with facts. By feeling confident in your knowledge of the topic at hand, as well as the procedure of your department, you don’t allow any room for starting an argument.

 

Simply explain the situation to the customer in order to keep the conversation under control and they will respect you for letting them in on the information. It is sometimes necessary to calm them down and regain their attention as explained in the previous steps before you are able to share your knowledge with the customer.

Humor

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Though every day brings new challenges and with it even more challenging customers, the best way to overcome them and to thrive in the role is to remember to laugh about it after.

 

Let off some of the steam that rises from those lengthy or obnoxious phone calls and take it all with a grain of salt. If the roles were reversed, the customer might just find themselves as hilarious as you do.

 

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Amy Clark is the Lead Author & Editor of IWantItNow Blog. Amy established the Customer Engagement blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to customer service, support and engagement.
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