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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Responding to Angry Customers - Watch this Video!

Writing about people who work in the customer service industry, site contributor Andy Hanselman points out that its often easier to stick to a prepared script than to think and use your initiative.

In other words, whenever you're confronted with a query or a complaint that has the slightest smell of some similar case that you have handled sometime in the past, the automatic pilot in your brain immediately takes over. Without giving the matter a second thought (you don't want to die of over-exercise, do you?), you churn out, parrot-like, the same response that you gave on countless previous occasions.

And of course, since you've temporarily disabled an otherwise very nimble brain, you don't take into account that there might be certain critical differences in this case. This could have unfortunate consequences, as Andy explains.

On the other hand, the best of customer service people know that sometimes the brain just shuts down automatically, and it's not because of apathy, neglect, or any conscious decision on your part.

This happens when get a call or a visit from an irate customer who claims to be hopping mad (and backs up his claim with every inch of his body), because your product or service isn't worth tuppence, you sold it to him under false pretenses, you and your company are a bunch of swindlers, or whatever.

Now, if you do manage to keep reasonably calm when this sort of thing happens, we do have some excellent tips to help you come out tops in such a situation.

But very often, it's not quite so simple. Somehow, you perceive of the irate customer's vicious assault as a personal attack on your integrity. Your emotions take over the show. You feel so hurt that your just can't think straight. Your brain shuts down. The temptation to return fire with fire is overwhelming. You might give as good as you get, return rudeness with rudeness, or just walk away or slam the telephone receiver down.

And of course, that's not good.

Watch this short video (below) from Telephonedoctor.com . With a little imagination, I believe the skills discussed can be applied in other situations, too.

And have a good day, and good week.


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