Tips for Call Center Agents to Deal with Difficult Customers

The technology works best when customers feel valued in any organization. The same is true for the call centers where agents and managers use high-end software for serving customers in the best possible manner. Do you know that more than 85% of the call center agents have faced demanding customers? This calls for immediate strategies that can help the call center managers to guide their teams to handle irritated, confused or even abusive customers.

Tips for Call Center Agents

Call center agents are at high risk of facing burnout compared to any other call center employee. The agents have to carefully handle the customers in a controlled environment under the direct supervision of managers.

The main issue with agent-customer interaction is that there is no physical involvement. Agents can’t attend to the customers in a one-to-one session. Thus, every call needs to be based on understanding, listening, and resolving. The following are the best tips for call center agents to handle difficult customers:

    • Importance of active listening:

The agents can handle disturbing customers by attentive listening skills that are easy to preach. Agents can stay attentive, ask open-ended questions, ask problem-solving questions, etc. The agents can also paraphrase the issues, request clarification, and stay attuned to the customer’s feelings.

    • Never take it personally:

It is all about professional business. Do you know that more than 70% of Americans have confessed to yelling at a call center agent? Thus, anything happening in the heat of the moment should never go personally on the agent.

    • Offer customer callback:

Call center agents can prioritize customer callbacks as more than 63% of customers prefer to call back. Thus, instead of keeping demanding customers on hold, it is excellent to offer a callback. When things are rough, it is best to give your best knowledge to the customer instead of saying anything vague.

    • Personalize every call by repeating the caller’s name:

Do you know that personalization is the key that amounts to more than 44% of customers staying with your business? The best way is to know the caller’s name in the first few seconds and repeat it. It will help calm the caller and give the call center agent a suitable time to attend to the query.

    • Offer potential solutions:

Call center agents can handle demanding customers by providing options in the solutions. The agents can suggest cashback, offering a percentage of billing, follow-up calls, etc. All these solutions will make customers feel connected to the businesses and heard. Agents can also send follow-up mail to the customer, including potential solutions.

    • Know when to say goodbye:

While it is difficult to make a disturbing customer listen, it is further difficult to say goodbye to such customers. First of all, call center agents must not allow customers to continue abusing them in any case. There are two situations where either customer mends his/her ways or tries to stay in the demanding tone. If you’re not sure about the customer’s behavior, it is best to say goodbye to him/her with the manager’s consent.

Tips for Call Center Managers

The challenging times of the covid-19 pandemic have switched the supporting gear of work from home to a permanent working solution. Thus, there are multiple issues with the employees working from remote locations. Call center managers have to ensure an excellent customer experience at all times.

Many customers have complained about poor customer service quality during working from remote locations. There has been an increase in the inbound calls that require quality handling only. Being a call center manager comes with the additional responsibility of the entire team. Thus, the following are the best tips for call center managers to handle difficult customers:

    • Importance of first call resolution:

Callbacks are good, but nothing matches the power of the first call solution. The call center managers can improve the call resolution rates by integrating the existing call center software with effective CRM. More than 80% of the customers calling a call center expect an immediate response. Henceforth, you can stress the value of first call resolution.

    • Improving call routing and IVR strategies:

All leading call center software comes with effective call routing and IVR strategies. The call center managers can leverage these technologies to handle the grumbling customers. Effective call routing can engage the customers in the best-known way to don’t feel juggled between different employees.

The interactive voice response or IVR can increase customer satisfaction. The requirements of agents are eliminated, and hence customers can get their issues resolved in a few minutes only.

    • Re-evaluating employee training:

Call center managers can improve customer handling by keeping their teams updated with the required training. This training makes the agents confident about customer handling. It is the main duty of any manager to encourage training feedback among agents and try to fill in the gap between the improvement areas.

    • Call insights and analytics:

The call center software provides highly valuable call insights and data analytics tools. Thus, call center managers can utilize these tools to improve customer service. Managers can get insights about common issues, common questions, the average time required to solve the queries, etc. These analytics are helpful in effective dispute resolution and collecting overall customer satisfaction.

Wrapping Up

The service industry can’t work by ignoring its customers. No matter how frustrated or difficult customers they face, the call centers have to deal with them appropriately. Proactive listening and additional patience work best for the frontline call center agents.

The call center managers understand the industry and work to handle difficult customers by training their team. They can also improve quality calls, decrease waiting time, etc., by optimizing their call center software.

All you need to know is that a little listening with an understanding of the customer’s complaint can help all call center agents and call center managers to tackle difficult customers.

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