How to Deal With Angry Clients on the Phone

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Find out how to deal with angry clients on the phone.

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How to Deal With Angry Clients on the Phone

  1. 1. Professional Telephone Skills Course
  2. 2. You can learn how to deal with angryclients by attending a professionaltelephone skills training course inCharlotte, Atlanta and Orlando.
  3. 3. One method to handle an angry client on the phone,which is taught in the course, is called the HEAT methodand it works as follows:H – Hear them out!When you are dealing with an irate client on thetelephone, at first, all they wish to do is to get their issueoff their chest. So, you need to sit back and listen withoutany interruptions or judgments. If you don’t listencarefully, you could potentially escalate the issue.
  4. 4. Once your client realizes that you are listening and takingan interest, half the reason for ranting and raving isremoved and the situation becomes more manageable.The purpose of listening first is to assure the caller of yourwillingness to become involved and to let the caller blowoff steam.Most importantly, listen to the whole of the caller’sstory. If you interrupt them you will make the situationworse. Take note of any key words and phrases used.
  5. 5. E – EmpathizeAcknowledge your client’s feelings. A typical mistakemade by many service providers faced with angry ordifficult callers is to tell them that there is nothing toworry about – “It’s really not a problem” or “I knowhow you feel”The result is usually that the caller has to keep beingdifficult until they feel someone has accepted that therereally is a problem.
  6. 6. At this stage you need to acknowledge that the caller isupset and assure them that you are prepared to dowhatever you can to help.By showing empathy you are giving the very clearmessage that you are going to be part of the solution;not part of the problem.However, showing empathy does not mean you agreewith the caller when they hit out at your organisation!
  7. 7. Listening with empathy requires actively looking forstatements that you can agree with. The objective is to beable to bring into the conversation positive “I” statements.These statements show the caller that you are willing tounderstand their situation.“I appreciate you feel this way. Let’s look at how we can…”At all times maintain your state of control. You don’t wantto start mirroring your upset client as this would fuel thesituation further.
  8. 8. A – Ask QuestionsEven though the first step in the HEAT process is tolisten, this may not provide a very clear understanding ofthe situation. This being the case, the story presented bythe caller may not be the easiest to follow.This step is therefore a very necessary one. Carefulquestioning helps to clarify the situation and is yet anotherway to reassure the caller that you are interested andconcerned.
  9. 9. T – Take Responsibility and Thank ThemTake ResponsibilityLet them know that you will take responsibility. Assurethem you will take control of this situation to get itresolved. You do not want to fob them off, so someonehas to deal with it.Unhappy clients do not like to be passedaround, they want to tell their story once andknow that it is going to be resolved.
  10. 10. Thank ThemAlways, always, always thank your client. No matter howdifficult the call has been. Be thankful that your client feltit was worthwhile for them to phone up to air this issue.It’s too easy for a client to say “forget it, it’s not worth thehassle!”We want to make it easy for our client’s to complainbecause this is giving us the opportunity to improve ourservice.Thanking them reinforces that they did the right thing byphoning to let you know the issue.
  11. 11. PD Training delivers a two day training course on“Professional Telephone Skills Training Course” inCharlotte, Memphis, Orlando, Columbia, Atlanta, Birmingham and Flowood.All students receive post Professional TelephoneSkills Training Course support from the instructor for12 months, a certificate of completion and smallclass sizes are guaranteed to result in a bettertraining experience for you.

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