Data from a recent Business wire report reveals a sobering statistic: just 14% of customers firmly agree that retailers provide an optimal experience. This underscores the widespread belief that industries are not committed to providing superior customer care.
Are you prepared to defy this status quo? Read on as we delve into practical, research-based tips to alleviate customer complaints via phone.
1. Embrace the Power of Composure
The first thing that you have to consider is yourself and how calm you are. According to the University of Liverpool, maintaining composure is essential; it enables clear thinking, promotes a discussion-oriented approach, enhances focus, allows thoughtful preparation before speaking, and leaves a positive impression.
How to Achieve This
Translating this to handling customer complaint calls, staying calm allows you to effectively manage the situation. It guides you to respond rather than react. You can comprehend the customer’s concerns more accurately, formulate effective solutions, and ultimately alter a potentially negative interaction into a positive customer experience.
2. Listen Actively to Humanize Customer Engagement
The second crucial factor to consider is active listening, which goes beyond just hearing your customers—it involves a deeper level of engagement where you’re fully attentive, focused, and conscious of what they’re trying to convey. It is a quest for information, understanding the nuances of situations and people before furnishing a response, achieved through non-judgmental hearing.
How to Achieve This
The Active Empathic Listening (AEL) Approach, pioneered by Drollinger et al. (2006), provides a methodical process by which customer service personnel can measure the level of their active listening skills.
To explain its effectiveness in your interactions, here’s a set of questions that represent the three stages of AEL effectively for calls.
1. How perceptive are you to what is being articulated?
2. Do you capture what is hinted at but not explicitly stated?
3. Can you empathize with how others feel?
4. Do you listen beyond the mere words spoken?
5. Do you reassure others that their words will be remembered?
6. Do you summaries points of congruity and divergence when necessary?
7. Are you able to keep tabs on the points being made by others?
8. Do you use verbal indications to guarantee others that you’re listening?
9. Are you assuring of your openness to their ideas?
10. Do your questions demonstrate a grasp of others’ perspectives?
Furthermore, personalizing the interaction through consistent usage of their name can make the customer feel valued and understood, encouraging a more open and productive conversation.
3. Accept Responsibility to Encourage Trust
The power of taking ownership, often underestimated, is vital in customer support and building trust. By nurturing trust, you’ll find yourself in a stronger position to influence, learn and instruct. The trust established encourages others to welcome your ideas, share information, and collaboratively seize opportunities.
How to Achieve This
Avoid transferring the customer across multiple departments. Instead, remain their consistent point of contact throughout. This dedicated approach can enhance trust, giving the customer a sense of security and assurance in dealing with their concerns.
4. Master of Effective Verbal Communication
Your tone and choice of words will significantly impact the outcome of the conversation. A Stanford University study on the placebo effect revealed that patients responded well to doctors who were confident and empathetic. Similarly, using a calm and positive tone while avoiding blame games can focus the conversation on constructing a solution.
How to Achieve This
Giving a heartfelt apology that is specific to what the customer has encountered displays empathy, an emotion touted by the Greater Good Science Center as a powerful tool for maintaining relationships.
The ability to truly understand and share the feelings of the customer changes the entire dynamic of the conversation. It fosters a connection that not only shows that you care but also lets the customer know that their issue is being understood on a personal level.
5. Use Assurances and Establish Clear Expectations
Transparent communication is key to successful customer complaint resolution. When customers are reassured that their issues are not taken lightly, they feel valued. Setting clear expectations regarding timelines and resolution actions lowers ambiguity and boosts rapport.
How to Achieve This
Instead of saying: “I’ll get back to you soon.”
Say: “You can expect a call from me by 2 p.m. tomorrow. Would that be okay?”
Instead of saying: “We’re working on the issue as of now.”
Say: “Our team is currently investigating your issue, and we aim to have it resolved by the end of the day.”
These word swaps provide a sense of certainty and set definite expectations, making the customers feel valued and assured that their concerns are a priority.
6. The Path to Resolution: Timely Action, Follow-ups, and Availability
It doesn’t end with you setting expectations. As stated in a LinkedIn report, diligent follow-ups can make customers feel appreciated, retain customers, and even convert dormant leads into sales. It’s equally critical for customers to know you’re always available for future inquiries, ensuing unrivaled support continuity.
Collectively, these data-driven tactics provide a quantifiable roadmap for proficiently resolving customer complaints via phone. These strategies allow businesses to reshape customer experience, elevate satisfaction levels, and confront the prevalent status quo head-on.
However, fostering a more conducive work environment through enhanced employee experiences is indispensable. A motivated and satisfied team is a crucial catalyst for delivering superior customer service.
Frequently Asked Questions – Tips for Resolving Customer Complaints via Phone
1. Why is maintaining composure important in handling customer complaints via phone?
Staying calm allows you to effectively manage the situation, respond rather than react, comprehend the customer’s concerns accurately, formulate effective solutions, and ultimately turn a potentially negative interaction into a positive customer experience.
2. What is active listening, and why is it crucial in customer engagement?
Active listening goes beyond just hearing your customers—it involves a deeper level of engagement where you’re fully attentive, focused, and conscious of what they’re trying to convey. It helps you understand the nuances of situations and people before responding, leading to more effective communication.
3. How can I improve my active listening skills in customer complaint calls?
The Active Empathic Listening (AEL) Approach provides a methodical process for measuring your active listening skills. It involves sensing, processing, and responding to the customer’s concerns. Additionally, personalizing the interaction through consistent usage of their name can make the customer feel valued and understood.
4. How can effective verbal communication impact customer complaint resolution?
Your tone and choice of words significantly impact the outcome of the conversation. Using a calm and positive tone while avoiding blame games can focus the conversation on constructing a solution. Displaying empathy through a heartfelt apology and understanding the customer’s feelings creates a powerful connection.
5. How can I establish clear expectations during customer complaint resolution?
Transparent communication with clear expectations regarding timelines and resolution actions is key to successful customer complaint resolution. By setting definite expectations, you make customers feel valued and assured that their concerns are a priority.