How to Handle Escalated Calls in Call Center?
Dealing with escalated calls is something that even the best call center businesses have to navigate. For businesses of all sizes, keeping customers happy and satisfied all the time is easier said than done. It’s undeniably true that when a company provides its customers with a product or service, it’s accountable for it. Failing to meet the expectations of customers may result in a spike in unreturning customers and revenue loss.
A study by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs found that around 13% of disgruntled customers tell more than 20 people how bad their experience was. However, 70% of complaining customers will repeat business if the complaints are resolved in their favor. The only way to protect your reputation and keep from losing business is to engage with them and resolve their issues quickly.
7 Proven Ways to Tackle Escalated Calls
Handling escalated calls is never the best part of a call center agent’s day. A survey by 1st Financial Training Services pointed out that 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain. In fact, 91% of those customers simply leave and never return. Therefore, it’s vital to understand that a business is always all about customers.
According to a Microsoft report, a whopping 58% of customers say that poor customer service is the main reason to stop doing business with a company. One of the main reasons for the success of Amazon, Apple, and other leading businesses is that they are people-centric companies. They ensure to offer excellent customer service and keep their customers happy. So how can businesses or call center agents deal with irate customers to create customer loyalty and retention?
If you’re a call center agent, this blog will provide you with the 7 most effective ways how to handle escalated calls in an effective manner. Read on!
Stay Calm in Frustrating Situations
The first and the foremost thing every call center agent should keep in mind while tackling a difficult customer is to not lose your cool. Though yelling could be the initial natural human reaction to anger, you as a call center agent still need to make sure that you stay calm while handling an agitated and frustrated customer. Your focus should always be on customer satisfaction. In case the circumstances are going out of your control, seek help from your manager.
Lend an Ear to Customers’ Problems
Remember, when a customer is calling, they expect and want to be heard. As a customer agent, you must let them know that you’re listening to their concerns. An agitated customer might scream or sometimes talk rudely over the call. You need to understand that they are just venting out their frustration on the company and not you. This is why you should always indulge in active listening and understand exactly what the customer is trying to convey to you about the problem they’re facing. Instead of arguing with them, make them feel heard and valued by using phrases such as,
- “I’m listening to you.”
- “Can you please elaborate on the issue you’re facing?”
Determine an Objective
The objective of most escalated calls is either helping the customer have a more positive view of the business or resolving the issue they’re facing. Given that as a call center agent, your job is to support the customer and offer effective solutions to them, you must take sufficient time to identify and understand the objective. Once you’ve understood their problem, take ideal steps to assist them further considering how they want to be treated when they get in touch with you in the future.
Show Empathy to Build Rapport
Imagine if you’re the one who’s frustrated with the experience you had with the product or service, what would you expect? An apology with empathy, right? This is why one of the most effective ways to handle escalations is showing empathy for the customer. Every customer wants to be understood when they’re bringing escalations to the table and showing empathy almost always helps in calming down the angry customer. So to comfort them, let them know that you’ve understood their issue by using phrases like:
- “I understand your concern. Don’t worry, I’m here to help you”
- “Your concern is right.”
- “I understand what you must be feeling.”
- “I am here for you.”
Never Put the Call on Hold
Did you know that 33% of customers are most frustrated by having to wait on hold? As a call center agent, putting disgruntled customers or escalated calls on hold might seem to be a good idea. But, keeping an already frustrated customer on hold won’t help them cool down and might worsen the situation. This is why, instead of putting them on hold directly, try to keep them engaged with a live commentary on what you’re doing at the moment to solve their issue.
In case, you still need to put the call on hold, convey politely to them that you need to put them on hold for a minute. While this might not ease the situation, it won’t escalate either. You can use phrases such as:
- “While I look into this issue, can you stand on a call with me?”
- “Could you please hold on for a while?”
Leverage IVR to Speed Up the Process
When it comes to delivering an exceptional experience to angry customers while handling escalated calls even to the angriest customers, having an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system such as HoduCC can help you! Opting for our call center software that supports IVR can significantly enhance the communication of your business. In addition, this system comes packed with features like call routing that enables you to easily tackle difficult customers by connecting them with the relevant departments. Not only this, but it also allows you to customize professional messages, keep track of the conversations with its call reporting feature, and ensure that no call remains unattended.
Offer a Deal that Appeals
In the end, every customer is getting in touch with you to seek a solution to their problem. So, give the customer some choices as a solution to ease the situation. Some of the solutions to deal with escalated calls might include a refund, replacement, a gift card or a voucher, a discount coupon off their next purchase, and many others. Give them the freedom to choose what they like the best.
Go the Extra Mile to Turn Unhappy Customers into Happier Ones!
There’s no denying that handling escalated calls for call center agents is no cakewalk. But the experience you offer to angry customers can offer a myriad of benefits for you and your team. Remember that “A customer is always right, no matter what” and you’ve to go out of the way to make them feel happy and satisfied.
So make use of the above de-escalation tips to make your customers feel happy with your customer service and support. Also, to effectively manage escalated calls productively and deliver exceptional CX, recommend your managers to invest in HoduCC, a powerful call center software.