Businesses are in business to solve problems. Problems cause stress. It's, therefore, logical you're going to have some stressed customers. If you and your team handle these stressful times well, your customers will be loyal and help you grow. in order to do it right it takes hiring the right people and spending the time needed to properly train your team.
Here are 6 lessons about handling stressed customers that will brand your business as one that solves problems.
1. Don't take things personally
When a customer voices his concern in a not-so-polite way, the natural reaction is to react in a not-so-polite way. Not only is this bad for business, but it elevates stress for everyone involved. Customer service reps need to understand that when a customer reacts angrily, they're not angry at them. They're simply upset with a circumstance.
2. Show empathy
The challenge in dealing with a stressed or angry customer is to see things from the customer's perspective. Once you see things from the customer's point of view, helping the customer becomes easier. Once that empathic state is reached, it's time to show empathy with (sincere) statements, such as "I'm sorry. That must be frustrating. Let's see how we can solve your problem." At this point you become teammates instead of adversaries.
3. Make a decision not to get angry
It's important to take control of your emotions when the day begins, to act and not be acted upon. Making the decision to remain in control regardless of how stressed or angry a customer is makes great customer service more likely. Always remember, two stressed people is twice as bad as one.
4. Hire the right people
Hire for attitude and train for skill. If you have customer service representatives handling customer complaints, make sure you hire individuals with the proper disposition for dealing with people. Anyone can learn a script or learn the ins and outs of customer service procedures, but not everyone's inclined to handle it with the proper attitude.
5. Become the right person
Perhaps you're the one handling stressed customers. You'll be a lot less likely to add one more stressed person to the conversation if you maintain a healthy work/life balance. Something as simple as placing a picture of your family at your desk or something else about your life that brings happiness can remind you that dealing with stressed customers is your job and that life is something different.
6. Always remember you're dealing with human beings
What would people think of you if they judged you on your worst 20 minutes of the day and ignored the remaining 23:40? Dealing with stressed customers sometimes means getting someone's worst 20 minutes. They're probably not like that most of the time. Act accordingly.
These simple lessons aren't always easy to put in to action while in the moment, but starting with the right attitude can make implementation of these lessons easier and make customers happy, even the stressed ones.