The customer is always right is the golden rule of customer service… Right? As any business owner knows, it’s not always possible to provide your clients everything they ask for, so you have to say no to their requests. It can be particularly difficult to know how to word this.
Saying “no” is never simple, especially in a world where strong customer experience standards are demanded and when unhappy consumers are more likely than ever to do business elsewhere. Once that “no” is said, a conversation that was going well can rapidly take a turn for the worse.
What can you do to equip your support staff to handle difficult conversations and improve a negative experience, knowing that dealing with irate consumers is occasionally unavoidable? First and foremost, you need to put in place a workforce that can be direct, confident in handling challenging conversations, empathic, and capable of meeting clients where they are, without waffle. Robert Bacal, the author of If It Wasn’t for the Customers, I’d Really Like this Job, explains how to resolve conflicts using the “CARP” method:
Conquer the conversation by displaying assurance in your ability to address the client’s problems
Recognize the customer’s problems and let them know you’re available to help.
Redirect the conversation so that it focuses on solutions rather than the situation’s feelings
To the best of your ability, solve problems.
We’ve compiled some critical phrases to utilize when dealing with irate clients to assist reduce the tension because your language and tone in these conversations may make or break the scenario. Please feel free to include these in your live chat or call center scripts!
Expressions That Show You Are Available to Help
The first step in defusing a heated exchange is to show that you are paying attention and genuinely care about the customer’s needs. If you want to align yourself with the distressed customer and show them that they have been heard and that you are willing to work with them to find a solution, you can do this by using reflective listening techniques, which involve repeating back to the customer their problem using phrases like, “If I understand you correctly, you’re facing [this issue].”
“If I’ve got you right, you’re facing…”
You are saying…
“What I hear is…”
Additionally, by concentrating on the problem the customer is seeking to address, you might be able to provide an alternative solution that they weren’t aware of.
Phrases to Use When You Have an Answer
Customers will occasionally call you with guns blazing when you genuinely have a means to assist them. By using language that allays their worries and establishes your position as the expert who can help them and put things right, you can diffuse the situation.
“You’re right, and we should act right away to address this.”
“As a quick fix, I’d like to recommend…”
“This is what I’ll do for you,” she said.
The consumer will naturally start to calm down if you remain upbeat and focused on how you’re going to help them.
The Right Words to Use If You Don’t Have a Solution
Not every issue can be resolved in the course of a phone call, particularly if a client wants something that your staff will never be able to fulfill, regardless of how urgent the situation. In this circumstance, be open and truthful with your clients about what is feasible while also demonstrating your understanding of their predicament. Context is key, therefore even if you have to refuse, give a reason so people understand it’s not a random decision.
“I absolutely comprehend your position and your motivation for wanting it. But at this time, we’re unable to do so because…
“As much as I’d love to, that’s beyond what we can accomplish at this time,” she said.
“I understand that this isn’t precisely the result you were hoping for. I will share your input with my team so we can improve moving forward.”
It’s crucial to refrain from apologizing for circumstances that are beyond of your control. Saying “sorry” can come across as a sugar-coated, disingenuous reaction and as if you aren’t paying attention to what the consumer is saying. The customer typically approached you in search of a solution rather than an apology. Try your best to offer solutions or workarounds to resolve their problem; at the absolute least, show that you understand their aggravation and that you’ll take action to resolve it in the future.
Recognize when to end a conversation.
Sometimes a consumer will rant on and on with no end in sight. You don’t want to waste time continuing a pointless chat at this point. Give the consumer the best solution you can, then say you’ve done your best to help and that you should now cut the connection.
“This is the most effective option we have right now. Do you need any other assistance today?
I have given my team a copy of your comments, and we will get in touch with you once a solution is found.
Do not take it personally; keep in mind that they are not upset with you personally. Concentrate on your duties and learn to tell someone’s rage apart from constructive criticism you can give your company. You might be able to change the subject and win over a disgruntled client with the appropriate strategy.
7 Guidelines for Boosting Verbal Communication
Everyone needs to be proficient in verbal communication. Both in your personal and professional lives, they are incredibly valuable. You are far more likely to command others’ respect and establish rapport when you communicate clearly, convincingly, and with composure. This is especially crucial in encounters in the workplace.
The following 7 suggestions can assist you in developing your verbal communication abilities so that you can more effectively connect with your audience, get respect from others, and create the bonds required for fruitful business interactions:
1. Be thoughtful before you talk
Many of the unpleasant pauses that happen when speaking can be avoided by organizing your ideas beforehand. You’ll be able to communicate your ideas more succinctly. It may not always be able to write down your ideas during impromptu chats, but it is still beneficial to take a moment to arrange your ideas in your head before you speak.
2. Be precise and succinct.
The best method to communicate your idea is to do so clearly and succinctly. Avoid using long, complicated sentences, and make an effort to express your points clearly. Ask yourself, “What is the clearest manner I can communicate my point?” before speaking.
3. Speak confidently.
Speaking with assurance will assist you win your audience’s respect and help you establish trust. Your command of the material, your word choice, the tone of your voice, your body language, and your capacity to make eye contact with your audience are just a few of the aspects that can affect how confidently you talk.
4. Alter your vocal tonality
A monotonous delivery is a certain method to dull your listeners and come across as uninterested. Instead, emphasize key themes with vocal intonation, and convey emotion by changing the pitch of your voice. This will maintain their interest in your message.
5. Listen attentively.
Being a good listener is just as crucial as being an effective speaker, and it will raise the standard of your verbal exchanges. Remember the five phases of active listening:
It helps to guarantee that you comprehend the demands of the individuals you are communicating with and it demonstrates to them that you actually care about their opinions. Summarize what you heard and pose further inquiries. You can establish rapport and trust more quickly if you do this.
6. Recognize nonverbal cues in communication
Your attitude toward the conversation and how others perceive what you say are greatly influenced by your body language. Make sure your gestures, facial expressions, and body language support the message you want to convey by paying close attention to these cues.
Understanding how to interpret the body language of the individuals you’re speaking to is equally as crucial. When speaking, maintain eye contact (while still blinking) to detect any hesitations or lack of engagement.
7. Consider your audience’s point of view.
Just because you are an expert on a subject doesn’t guarantee that those to whom you are speaking are equally knowledgeable. Try to consider how someone else would interpret what you are trying to say, especially if they don’t have the same level of technical expertise as you do. Simplifying your pitch is the best piece of advice.