Art of Tackling Perplexing Customer Interactions

Every business entity is well aware of the fact that it is absolutely imperative to have a jubilated customer base. The ability to achieve that depends partly on our ability to handle perplexing conversations. Our proficiency in handling difficult interactions has emerged as a serious difference maker between a stronger customer relationship and customer turnover in favor of competition. This is of utmost significance we discuss this in context of inbound call centers that possess the expertise in handling perplex customer situations and tilt the conversation in their favor.

The following communication skills will certainly create a real connection when the conversations start to get out of hand.

  • Focused attention

A call center executive needs to focus on customer’s point of view and their preferred channel of communication. When we discuss about the perspective of the executives working at inbound call centers, they might feel that they are absolutely correct, but the customer might have a difference viewpoint on the same. The executives in the call center environment are trained to ask and consider what the customer really needs. An executive might put himself/herself in customer’s shoe and try to understand the difference but what you want and what the customer wants might also be two different things altogether. So, it is advisable to go for a long, detailed conversation to go through every aspect of the issue. When an executive focuses attentively on the customer’s perspective, he/she becomes more compassionate while handling complex problems.

  • Respecting differences

In a constantly challenging environment of inbound call centers, it is often observed that call center executives tend to get frustrated with customers when a customer says something very different from what they believe it should be. If an executive thinks that it is distasteful to quibble on price, he/she might end up judging someone who is trying to negotiate the best possible deal for them. Some executives might not acknowledge the people from different cultural background as they do not feel the need to come out of their respective comfort zones. The call center executives are trained to set aside judgements and respect the difference in perspectives. After all, the whole exercise is meant to be on the same page.

  • Active listening

In a call center environment, when an executive is under immense pressure, it is easy for him/her to slip into poor listening habits. The poor listening habits may include preparing for what they are going to respond as the customer is still talking, or may also include making assumptions rather than trying to gauge customer’s perspective of the problem. Another bad habit that an executive might inculcate in the process is checking e-mails while the customer is trying to explain his query. It is a recommended practice to shut off all the distractions and start listening actively to customer problems. It is not an easy task to accomplish, considering the distractions but it will certainly achieve strong relationship with the customers.

  • Disagreeing respectfully

It is important for executives working in the inbound call centers to note that when the customers disagree with them or their organization, they aren’t always calm while expressing their feelings. Such executives need to learn the art of responding to insults, arguments and intimidations. The executives are trained to resist the temptation to quarrel back. Even though it is an established fact that hostility tends to grab attention, but it is also detrimental to maintaining long-term customer relationships. Customer support executives need to understand that disagreeing with respect won’t weaken the point they are trying to make. Focusing on the real issue is one of the best ways to make the customer understand about the resolution being offered. Customers will soon realize that the executive will devise the best possible resolution to their query.

It can be derived from the above discussion that tackling perplexing customer interactions is by no means an easy task. However, the focus needs to shift away from the blame and should be more oriented towards the final solution. The best call center executives see customer query as a method to strengthening a bond with the customer. It is equally important to pay heed to the customer’s emotions as it is a key ingredient to a successful organization.

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