Customer service representatives are all-too familiar with the phrase “I want to speak to the manager” or some variation of it. You’ve probably heard this more times than you can count whenever a customer is upset or has a complaint or problem that’s above your paygrade.
Sometimes, the interaction can get so heated that it’s almost difficult not to take their misplaced anger personally. As a call center employee, it’s important to understand that the customer isn’t really mad at you; they’re mad at the situation. Agitated customers can be difficult to deal with either on the phone or online, but here are some great tips to handle escalations in a call center to help you get through it.
Stay Calm and Collected
Stressful situations occur almost on a daily basis in this line of work, so it’s important to try to maintain a level-headed approach at all times. This may sound easier said than done, but it’s actually a great way to deescalate virtually any hostile situation and provide a resolution. Exhibiting a calm, cool, and collected demeanour when faced with a negative situation at work allows you to keep a clear head so that you can solve the problem rather than becoming a part of it. Eventually, the customer will also calm down and appreciate your efforts.
Listen Carefully and Understand the Problem
You can’t possibly solve a problem that you don’t fully understand. When a customer calls in asking for assistance with something, pause, breathe, and ask them to explain the situation slowly, from the beginning, and in full detail so that you can do your best to provide remote assistance.
Be Clear About Your Objective
Once you’ve completely understood the problem and have repeated it back to the customer for reassurance, come up with an appropriate solution. Explain your solution to them in no uncertain terms and make sure they understand and agree to it. If they disagree with the solution you’ve provided, see if you can tackle the issue from another angle. If you can’t, then make sure to explain why to them and then move forward with escalating the issue to the next level of authority.
The best way to earn the trust and respect of your customers is to empathize with their situation. If you’re a manager taking an escalated phone call from an agent, then be compassionate. Understand that the customer has probably already had to explain the situation several times to different people before they got to you. This can be frustrating for them, especially if a resolution has not yet been offered. Evaluate the situation accordingly and come up with an appropriate response that’s win-win for everyone.
Know When to Involve the Next Level of Authority
Certain escalations in call centers might even be above a manager’s paygrade. You might have to get the supervisor on the phone to deal with the issue. Before you do that, be absolutely certain that you’ve exhausted all of the resources and protocols within your authority. Don’t just bounce a customer into your supervisor’s court because you don’t feel like dealing with them anymore. Explain the situation to your supervisor form your perspective and see what they say before you ask them to handle it.
Hire Call Center Escalation Handling Services
If you’re having a hard time handling escalations at work in a call center, then 3C Contact Services can help. We provide professional outsourced customer service and call center services to SMBs throughout North America. Our team of professionally trained call center experts can help you handle even the most challenging call center escalation situations, whether they’re online or over the phone. Contact us today to learn more.