Angry customers are considered as staple elements in firms that offer inbound customer service solutions, be it in the Philippines or any other top outsourcing destination. No matter how impeccable your company is in producing goods and serving your market, there will always be someone who encounters a problem with your products and contact you to fix it.
Having angry callers is unavoidable, yes, but the good news is that it’s fixable. In fact, every call from a displeased customer is an opportunity to prove your company’s worth and a chance to strengthen the relationship with that customer.
How can you appease angry customers and win their loyalty in the process? All it takes is five steps.
1. Say sorry
What you need here is a sincere apology and not a pre-made message expressing regret for the mishap. Your company may not have control over the cause of the problem, say a delayed delivery due to a typhoon or a package mishandled by your third party transporter, but you should still explain why it happened and find a way to fix it. It’s expected from you. So, make the apology personal and assure the callers that:
• They are heard
• They are important
• You are on their side
This way, you tone down the anger while simultaneously gaining their trust.
This next step is where you start asking questions about the problem. But before that, you should let them vent out. Be collaborative and let them explain the issue in detail before asking the often-considered offensive question that is “Are you sure it’s plugged?” You’ve probably built rapport through step 1, but you should still explore the issue thoroughly before throwing the basic questions. Otherwise, they may find the action insulting rather than a genuine attempt at offering assistance.
You can’t win back customers by simply giving back what they lost. You have to earn and rebuild their loyalty by giving something extra for the trouble they went through.
Solutions vary from problem to problem, but the follow up should be consistent. Replacing the faulty product, troubleshooting the service, and then sending a gift is only the initial part; you have to make sure that the solution is effective after applying it. Follow-ups should be done, which should compose of these elements:
• Immediate follow-up - This is done right after the call to underscore your concern for the customer and to know if another issue grew from the previous problem. Immediate follow-ups should especially be done by an agent to a customer he transferred to another agent.
• Internal follow-up - The agent who received a complaint should alert the departments involved so that they could work on the problem before it blows up.
• Wrap-up - The wrap-up could be done either through call or a letter as a way of solidifying the business-consumer relationship. This also assures that you regret the incident and that it won’t happen again.
Documenting the problem and the specific actions you took to solve it should be done immediately while the incident is still fresh in your mind. Use the documentation for later analysis so that you can apply the lessons in your training and coaching sessions, thus lessening the possibility of it happening again and prepping your people for future troubles.
Documentation also lets you identify patterns and trends, as well as underlying causes that you may have overlooked. Simply noting down the time of the call or the day of the incident can tell if there’s frequency and repetition, which can be caused by an uninformed employee or a faulty facility assigned on that certain time and day.