Make sure your customers feel heard, respected and understood.
It’s often challenging to help customers who are lost in emotions and seem unable to be receptive. What should you say to customers who express discontent or are downright angry? This situation can sometimes be scary.
Here are some key phrases to tell your customers in order to make a first step in assuring them that you are taking the problem very seriously:
- “I can understand how frustrating it is when…”
- “I realize how complicated it is to…”
- “I imagine how upsetting it is to…”
- “I know how confusing it must be when…”
- “I’m so sorry to hear that…”
You can drastically improve the customer experience by taking a few seconds to build rapport by simply expressing genuine empathy.
1. Listen carefully – Be a good a listener and try to repeat what the customer says to assure them that you are listening.
2. Smile – Sounds cheesy but smile when talking to customers. They will feel it in your voice.
3. Make it your problem – Take ownership of the enquiry, especially if it is a complaint. Have a one-to-one relationship with your customer so that they have a point of contact that they can come back to.
4. Allow them to ‘get it all out’ – When the customer is angry, allow them to vent without interruption. Use this time to figure out what you can do to fix their issue.
5. Be respectful – Make sure you talk to the customer with respect and in common language. Never talk down to the customer or talk over them.
6. See it through their eyes – Share your customers perspectives.
7. Understand their priorities – Every customer, particularly in an emergency situation, will have a list of priorities. Make them your priorities too and address them in the right order (mirroring them). This will reassure the customer that you know what they want and are taking care of them.
8. Show that you care – You can build rapport by showing a personal interest in the customer. For example, if a customer says they have been sick, show that you care by asking them about the recovery.
9. Begin with a positive statement – If the customer has spent some time explaining a frustrating problem, then beginning your response with a short, direct statement of intent can gain his confidence.
Something like “Okay, we can fix this…” or “Right, let’s get this problem sorted for you…” will reassure the customer that you are taking ownership of the problem.
10. Avoid assumptions – Don’t make assumptions about what the customer is telling you – actively listen!
*Article by Miruna Mitranescu at Aircall.com