The dynamics of Customer support have undergone tremendous changes in the past few decades. In physical interaction with customers, a courtesy smile along with a formal handshake was the standard norm earlier.
But in today’s’ business context, there is more to a formal handshake and customary smile. Humans are social beings, and hence a lot of different aspects come into play during an interaction between them. Some of these aspects include social status, sex, age, etc. In a business interaction, the customer always feels he has the upper hand, and the business also treats him likewise.
This does not mean that the business has to say “I’m sorry” and take all the abuse from a customer if it fails to meet the customer’s expectations. Understandably, the customer is frustrated, and it is also understandable that the business has its own strong reasons for failing to meet customer’s expectations. A skilled customer service representative can bring about a positive outcome from this episode with his talent and negotiation skills. Let’s delve into those critical skills which come into play while handling tricky situations with customers.
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Skills to handle tricky situations with customers
Communication is not just answering questions and replying to the customer. It is clear and concise in each interaction and every interaction with the customer. These skills definitely come into play, especially at the time of managing a dissatisfied customer.
Both the customer and the customer support agent know that the customer has the upper hand in the business transaction. However, with the help of his communication skills, the agent should choose his words carefully and tame the customer.
Patience is a virtue, and it is not easy to come by. However, it is essential while providing free help desk software. There is an exhaustive list of what cannot be achieved by being impatient. However, let’s explore why patience is so important and how it benefits or benefits customer support.
The majority of the customers contact the business seeking help. Based on the urgency of their need, some of them could be frustrated, and some of them could be less frustrated. It is a human tendency to show frustration on the other person when something is not working while it is expected to work.
The customer service agent attending to the frustrated customer should consider the bigger picture rather than adopting the tit for tat approach and showing an equal level of frustration over the customer.
There are three possible outcomes in the above scenario of a frustrated customer contacting the customer support team. In the first possible outcome, the agent immediately requests the customer to stay online and transfers the call to his supervisor. The second possible outcome could be that the agent bluntly denies entertaining the customer’s request, which further infuriates the customer, and he disconnects the call.
The final and ideal outcome is that the agent handles the customer and pacifies him. At the end of the lengthy call, the customer is happy, and the agent is happy. However, the final and positive outcome can only occur when the agent has a few more qualities and patience.
Knowledge of the product:
Knowledge of the product is of utmost importance in the field of customer service. A customer, by way of his interaction, can easily figure out whether the agent handling him is properly equipped with product information or not. A customer service agent ill-equipped with product information will unconsciously exhibit his poor knowledge by sounding timid. There is every chance that he will be taken for a ride by the customer.
Hence, businesses should always have a sound training and induction process to equip their customer service personnel better. The business should also maintain an easily accessible knowledge base that can serve as a quick help guide for its support personnel.
Passion to learn:
It is said that learning is a never-ending process. Customer service agents should treat each interaction as a learning experience from which there are always takeaways. After all, it is a great field that provides a unique opportunity to interact with people of different levels of knowledge, experience, age, and social stature.
There will be situations where the customer has to face a ‘no’ from business, and it is definitely not something that customer may want to hear. Unfortunately, the customer service agent is the company’s face for customers, and he will have to hear the ‘no’ from the customer service agent. And when he does hear, he may burst out. During these times, the customer service agent needs to be diplomatic and help create a positive outcome.
Customers feel a sense of comfort when they are provided with the assurance that their issues are being looked after. Customer representatives may not have ready-made solutions for all of the issues that customers come across. However, they can request customers for time to get back to them with a possible resolution.
Being empathetic is a critical factor during the interaction with the customer. Customer representative should put himself in the customer’s shoes, understand his feelings and try to reach for a possible resolution.
All the above qualities help a customer service representative bring about a positive outcome during his interactions with customers.