Handling Irate Customers & Difficult Situations

Greetings from Shoppers, Inc.!  Hope you enjoy the article below from John Tschohl  about Handling Irate Customers & Difficult Situations and customer service as much as we did.

It’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it.

Facing off with a screaming, unreasonable, irrational customer represents the ultimate test of any employee’s service skills. It can take you to your breaking point if you are not aware and careful. Staying grounded and above the fray requires you to find inner strength, and persevere beyond the initial difficulties.

Irate Customers

With many employees a screaming irate customer will ruin their day. Its hard to keep motivated when 20 minutes into your shift a customer lets you have it. The bad news is most employees have never been trained to successfully handle these customers. Their ego gets in the way. They call management for support. In some call centers the employee just hangs up thinking no one will know. Many find it easier to lie to make the problem go away.

There are several reasons why its critical the problem gets solved fast.

1. Many customers will never come back. The problem here is many employees think, GREAT! He was a jerk. We don’t need him.

2. With social media thousands can hear about the problem in hours. The average person has 130 friends on Facebook.

3. Many times the problem was caused by your organization.  We all have a limited  number of customers and we all make mistakes.

4. Problem customers can increase employee turnover. Some employees think this is a lousy job. This place has some really bad customers. I am out of here.

5. It can crush morale and attitudes.  Not many employees are skilled at turning around irate customer and difficult situations.

We released a new program called Handling Irate Customers and Difficult Situations. It is a 2 session program of 3 hours each spaced one week apart. (In developing markets we suggest 4 hours each).  The program has three core elements.

Irate Customers1. A user-friendly Leader Guide so your staff can skillfully implement the program. It is goof proof.

2. Two videos of about 30 minutes each with awesome talent. The script is very aggressive. Learn More Now

3. Participant material to be used during the two seminars.  A 128 page 6 ” x 9″ perfect bound attractive handbook with homework for the second session and exercises used during both training seminars. A technique card for each participant to reinforce the message. A performance standard to measure and reinforce the message and a Certificate of Completion.

The packaging is superb.   All SQI product is easy to use and attractively packaged so the participant will buy into the message and internalize the skills we are teaching. Our goal is to change attitudes and behaviors.

We teach the 4 C’s of Handling Irate Customers. We explore the importance of staying calm and controlled — in every situation–preventing it from spiraling out of control. There’s no one thing that pushes a customer over the edge.

It’s all about:

* Compassion – Listen carefully and read to their words, not just their behavior. Examine the facts.

* Calm – Remain calm and don’t lose your cool

* Confidence – Handle the situation knowing you are following company guidelines – and serve the customer.

* Competence – Save the customer with your competent handling of the situation so he or she continues to be a customer.

Dealing with irate customers can drain you physically and emotionally. and put your skills to the test. After you have had to deal with a customer’s outburst, you must find ways to take care of yourself. Difficult situations can leave you feeling empty so use positive self-talk

There are 6 Steps to Handle Irate Customers (Use these six steps in any order, based on the situation)

1. Listen carefully and with interest

2. Put yourself in your customer’s place.

3. Ask questions and actively listen to the answers.

4. Suggest alternatives that address their concerns.

5. Apologize without laying blame for it might not be your fault.

6. Solve the problem quickly and efficiently.

All SQI products have a NO IF’s, NO AND’s and NO BUT’s Money Back Guarantee. This means you can order the program for all your employees and if not satisfied you can return the material for a complete refund. NO time limit. No kidding.


About the Author: John Tschohl

John Tschohl is an author and president of Service Quality Institute. He is an American business consultant and Customer Service Strategist.


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Learn how to make your company a leader in customer service – contact Shoppers, Inc. at 800-259-8551 for more information on Handling Irate Customers and Difficult Situations.

Shoppers, Inc.  – A better customer experience.  We provide Measurement, Employee Development and Public Speaking Engagements.

For more information contact Kathy at Kathy@insightyoucanuse.com or 800-259-8551 x202

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