Keeping customers is as important as getting them, that’s why it’s vital to know how to deal with all sorts of customers.
The initial and the most important thing is to listen to them attentively and remain composed. Your ability to listen will give you the insight you need to be able to identify their situation and a suitable course of action.
One of the most common mistakes service providers make when dealing with angry clients is to overlook the feeling being expressed and move straight away to the problem. Most customers see this move as callous, and unhelpful, as a result the anger hits the ceiling
Esther Umwari is a Customer Care service agent at MTN and has mastered her customer service skills well.
“Here at MTN Call Centre, we encounter all sorts of customers, angry, rude and sometimes vulgar customers, but because we are trained, we find it easy to cope,” Umwari said.
“If you encounter a loud and abusive customer, no matter what kind of business you are in, respond by speaking softly with a steady tone, if you try to shout back at the customer or interrupt, the customer will chance on the verbal battle for attention and will not pay attention to the importance of your massage, if you want your massage to be heard wait for a pause in the customer tirade then softly try to make your point sink- in, she or he will also have to lower their voices to hear what you are saying,” Umwari explained.
Asked how they deal with angry customers at KCB (Kenya Commercial Bank), the Branch Manager who preferred anonymity emphasized the importance of trained employees.
“The secret lies in trained staff. Once they are fully trained, they acquire the adequate techniques to deactivate angry customers,” said KCB’s Branch Manager.
Remember it doesn’t matter who created the problem or what transpired before the customer got to you. Tell the customer the fault is yours and that you will apply your personal effort to achieve positive results as soon as you can. Also don’t forget to place the customer first and the problem second.
“We try so hard to avoid anything that can trigger any uneasiness in our customers; our motto is ‘The customer is always right’ but you can only achieve this with close staff-supervision,” said Abdulahi Osman the proprietor of Aromas Coffee shop in Kimironko.
In her book “The manner that sells” Linda Ramsey pointed out that, “Nothing can be solved by being argumentative and reactionary. Instead diffuse the client’s anger by being apologetic and sympathetic and focus on positive steps that will resolve the situation. Before you know it, your adversary will be your allies and of course don’t forget to smile.’
Service providers should always remember that if they don’t take good care of their customers someone else will.