If the incoming data is emotionally charged, the amygdala will override the cerebral cortex and send the data to the limbic system for an emotional response. A flood of hormones are released that cause physical and emotional alarm, a flood that lasts for several minutes during which time the person isn’t in control and may say or do things that they might otherwise regret. People whose limbic systems are in control – otherwise intelligent, sensible people whose frustration is so severe that it’s clouding the part of their brain that usually leads them to logical conclusions. This is what customer service reps have to fight with, as well – the instinctive response of the amygdala that fires up the customer service agents and causes them to get super angry, in response, to someone else’s frustration and anger.
The frustration and anger that customers bring to phone calls can be due to a number of reasons – a product of their environment , a direct reaction to the product or service . But no matter what the reason is, it’s up to the customer service representative to talk to and, ultimately, deal with the customer in a way that gets them to a point where the agent and the customer can work out a solution that works for everyone.
Step 1: Align
Most customers just want to be heard. Even if you have an excellent counterpoint or a solution, let them finish telling you about the situation before you say your piece. Use the same phrases but make sure that your tone is neutral or sympathetic and doesn’t make the customer feel like you’re mocking them.
Step 2: Assure
Once you’ve summed up the situation, take a moment to apologize and assure them that you, together, will figure out a solution together. Most customers are happy to wait for reasonable resolutions as long as they’re aware that the problem is actually being worked on and it isn’t just a theoretical resolution.
Step 3: Assign
When this is the case, make sure you do everything you can to communicate with the user through the whole process. Let them know when you’ll get back to them with an update or a fix and stick to your word. Waiting for seemingly long periods of time without any updates can play havoc with a customer’s mind. Another way is to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to provide them with periodic updates.
During these situations, make it your responsibility to escalate the issue and get somebody on it, pronto. And there you have it – a 3 step process to dealing with super angry customers, when you have them on the phone. Let us know in the comments section or by writing to us at [email protected]