11 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Customers on the Phone

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11 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Customers on the Phone

How to deal with difficult customers on the phone

No one enjoys dealing with difficult customers on the phone. They can be frustrating, angry, and downright rude. However, as a customer-facing professional, it is important to know how to deal with them effectively. A good customer service experience can turn any customer into a repeat customer, about 90% of the time

In this blog post, we will provide 12 tips for dealing with difficult customers over the phone. We will also share real-world examples of how to deal with difficult customers in conversation. Stay calm and collected, and remember: you are the expert on your product or service.

Here are 12 tips to help you communication with challenging customers over the phone:

  1. Remain calm
  2. Listen carefully
  3. Apologize
  4. Offer a solution
  5. Be patient
  6. Avoid getting defensive
  7. Don’t take it personally
  8. Stay in control
  9. Keep an open mind
  10. Use ‘I’ statements 
  11. End the call on a positive note.
how-to-deal-with-dicciult-customers-over-the-phone-tips

1. Remain calm.

It can be difficult to do this when a customer is yelling or being rude, but it is important to stay calm throughout the conversation. This will allow you to continue to think clearly and answer questions accurately and professionally.

2. Listen carefully.

Oftentimes, customers just want to be heard. By listening to their concerns, you can fully understand their complaint and diffuse the situation. Use active listening skills, such as restating what they say and mirroring their language, to diffuse difficult customer situations over the phone.

3. Apologize.

This shows that you empathize with their situation. It also opens the door for you to take responsibility for any part of the problem that may have been caused by your company or product.

For example: “I am very sorry to hear about that.I can see how that would be very frustrating. I would like to get to the bottom of what happened, so we can fix this for you.”

4. Offer a solution.

If there is a way to solve the issue, let the customer know what it is. This could include a refund, exchange, or something else entirely. If there is not a solution, be honest with the customer and let them know that you are working on a resolution.

5.  Be patient.

It can be difficult to deal with a difficult customer who is angry or upset, but it is important to be patient throughout the conversation. This will show that you are interested in solving their problem and that you care about their experience with your company.

how-to-deal-with-dicciult-customers-over-the-phone-strategies

6. Avoid getting defensive.

It can be easy to get defensive when a customer is attacking you or your company, but it is important to avoid this at all costs. Getting defensive will only escalate the situation and make the customer angrier. Instead, try to understand their perspective and see how you can help them.

Example: “I understand how you feel. We’ll do everything we can to make things right.”

7. Don’t take it personally.

Remember that the customer is angry with the product or service, not with you as a person. It is important to separate yourself from the situation and remember that they are just trying to get their problem solved. This can be difficult, but it is important to remember that the customer is not attacking you.

8. Empower the customer.

It can be challenging to do when a customer is being difficult, but it is important to remain calm and make the customer feel like they are in control of the situation. You can do this by offering multiple options they can choose from. This will allow you to better address their concerns and find a resolution. 

For example: “To help you solve this issue, we can either do (option A) or (option B). Which one would you prefer?”

9. Keep an open mind.

It can be easy to get caught up in your own perspective and forget that there may be another side to the story. It is important to keep an open mind and remember that there are always two sides to every story. This will allow you to better understand the customer’s perspective and find a resolution.

10. Use ‘I’ statements.

‘I’ statements are a great way to diffuse difficult customer situations. For example, you could say “I’m sorry that you’re not happy with the product” or “I understand how you feel”. This shows that you understand their perspective and that you are interested in finding a resolution, rather than blaming with ‘you’ statements.

11. End the call on a positive note.

Even if the situation was not resolved to the customer’s satisfaction, it is important to end the call on a positive note. Thank them for their time and let them know that you are grateful for their feedback. This will leave them with a positive impression of your company, even if they were not happy with the outcome of the call.

Example: “Thank you for your patience. We’ll do everything we can to resolve this as soon as possible.”

Dealing with difficult customers on the phone can be a challenging task, but it is important to remember that you are the expert on your product or service. By following these 11 tips, you will be able to diffuse difficult customer situations and provide a positive experience for your customers.

Final thoughts

The 12 tips above can help you deal with difficult customers on the phone. Remember to stay calm, be patient, and be empathetic. Dealing with difficult customers is never easy, but if you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be better equipped to handle any situation that comes your way.

Still feel at a loss for words when dealing with difficult customers? Enroll in our Customer Service Professional Certification to gain unparalleled insight into customer needs and how to ensure customer satisfaction.

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