At Central Comm there are times when we get hit with some pretty upset cusomters.It most often not customers who are upset with Central Comm, rather it’s customers are upset with a situation or service which one of our customers provide. We train for those situations, but I must tell you, when you answer a phone line and before you get to the end of your greeting, some angry person begins to berate you, that can be disconcerting. Thank goodness that doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, the thing we NEVER do is answer in anger.
While there are some people who are just grouchy by nature, most people are not. A good portion of the time the people calling in and shouting are those who are upset by something which has gone wrong. We have found the best thing to do is to let them rant, then calmly try to find a way to help them out of whatever situation it is that is causing their upset.
The goal is to find out the issue, to try and figure out what the next step is, contact the account owner who is having the issue and assist however we can in the resolution. For example, a short while ago there was a customer of ours who had a mishap with their accounting system. Somehow invoices for services got sent out at the wrong time of the month, essentially double billing some of their customers. While trying to resolve the issue, they had us man the phone lines for them. The company is not a large one, so taking resources away from resolving the issues while trying to assure upset customers would have been counter productive. We handled the phone for them.
Because we had taken the calls, and we knew what the situation was, we were able to assure their customers the company was working to resolve the issue and someone would get back to them in a reasonable amount of time with the resolution to this problem.
Most often we get in a situation where a customer is experiencing an event for which they need immediate assistance. In that case, the customer calling is not necessarily angry, they are instead a little panicked. When we can re-assure them someone is on the way to resolve the issue, most people can calm down.
No matter what the situation, it is always important that we react with as much composure and we can muster. And to remember that this is not personal. The angry or fearful person on the other end of this conversation isn’t upset with us so much as they are upset with the situation.
Answering phones for you.