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Here’s How to Respond to the Yelling or Cursing Customer {with videos}

Operator woman talking on headset at work

Here’s How to Respond to the Yelling or Cursing Customer – Plus More Diplomatic Phrases to Help You Regain Control in 9 Common Situations with Difficult Customers

1. What to say to the yelling or cursing customer

  • “I’m trying to help you, but if you continue to yell and swear, I am going to ask that you call back another time. It’s up to you…which would you prefer?”
  • “I’m sorry. It isn’t possible to help while listening to that language. If it stops, I can help.”
  • “If a few minutes helps you calm down before we continue, that would be okay. You can certainly call me back.”
  • “I want to help you, yet the language is getting in the way.”

Note: Your tone is critically important with the above statements. You must come across calm, neutral, and non-threatening.

2. What to say to the customer who wants to speak to a supervisor

  • “I’m sorry you feel you need to talk to someone else, but that’s the reason I’m here. I have been given full authority to help resolve your concerns. May I have the opportunity to address this first?
  • “Please give me a chance to try and fix this for you. That’s why I’m here.”

3. What to say when you cannot honor the request for refund due to consumer error

  • “It is our company policy that we cannot pay a claim that involves consumer error. We have a responsibility to the company to uphold the integrity of our products. When a product performs as expected and has no deficiencies, we cannot take responsibility and accordingly can offer no financial assistance.”
  • “Although you might not agree with my decision, I’d like to explain it so you can at least understand.”
  • “We appreciate hearing about your experience, but we cannot compensate you in this matter because you failed to follow instructions/did not read instructions/misused the product.”

4. What to say to the rambler or storytelling customer

  • Before we hang up I want to be sure to tell you…” This statement psychologically leads the customer toward the end of the conversation.
  • “I don’t want to take up any more of your time so let me give you…” You can make this statement even when the customer has called you.
  • “One last thing I need to tell you….”
  • “I have all the information I need so I’ll now….”
  • “Please help me understand where this conversation is taking us.”

Here’s a short video on how to control calls with ramblers:

5. What to say when you need to convey empathy (to create calm with a demanding customer)

  • “The problem you experienced is no more acceptable to us than it was to you.”
  • “It must have been very frustrating for you to get the Widget home and discover it doesn’t work properly.”
  • “It must seem like these things take forever.”

6. What to say to the customer who wants you to bend the rules 

  • Remember: Today’s exception becomes tomorrow’s expectation
  • Empathize with the customer and at the same time remain neutral

Say something similar to:

  • “to be fair to everyone I must…”
  • “I wish that were possible, but your request is beyond my level of authority. I will, however, check with my manager.

7. What to say when you need a graceful exit

  • “We see this differently, and I am going to have to put more thought into the perspective you have shared with me. It’s helpful for me to understand how you see things. In the meantime, here is what I can do to solve the immediate problem.”
  • “I’m sorry that I have not been able to help you. If you don’t object, I would like to let a colleague/manager of mine attempt to better meet your needs.”

8. What to say to the demanding customer who wants on-the-spot answers

  • Reiterate what you know, what you can do, and what they can expect.
  • Explain, “I don’t want to further disappoint you. I want to be honest about what we can do for you.”
  • Be honest with the customer.
  • Do not let the customer make you give an immediate response.
  • Do not make any promises you can’t keep.

Sample responses:

  • “Your request goes beyond my authority. I will, however, contact the right people and have someone who can help call you back.”
  • “I know you would like an immediate response, and I wish that were possible. This request requires input from other people. I assure you I will locate the appropriate person who will get back in touch with you.”

9. What to say when you want to “safely” apologize

  • “Please accept my sincere apology for any frustration this may have caused you.”
  • “I am sorry for any misunderstanding you may have experienced.”

Download a PDF of Myra’s Phrases so you can share this with your employees.

Now you can give your representatives even more great skills for delivering the best customer experience and for handling difficult customer situations. Sign up for my email list and learn specific tips, approaches, and phrases to help your employees help your customers.

 

The Corporate Apology: How to Apologize In 5 Easy Steps

Proud Businesswomen

You probably remember the story about dozens of JetBlue Airlines’ passengers being stranded for more than 10 hours on the tarmac without taking off. That was February 2007. Would you believe that JetBlue still managed to get the JD Power & Associates Award for #1 Customer Satisfaction for the airline industry for that year?

How did they do it? They apologized outright to customers after the traumatic event. And here’s how they did it:

 “We are sorry and embarrassed. But most of all, we are deeply sorry.”

A lot of companies are afraid to apologize because they think an apology assumes responsibility or that it may put the company at risk for liability. And I think this is a huge mistake.

The JetBlue example assumes total responsibility, holding nothing back. Look at how JetBlue goes on with their apology:

“Words cannot express how truly sorry we are for the anxiety, frustration, and inconvenience that we caused. This is especially saddening because JetBlue was founded on the promise of bringing humanity back to air travel and making the experience of flying happier and easier for everyone who chooses to fly with us. We know we failed to deliver on this promise last week.”

JetBlue’s apology acknowledges their passengers’ “pain,” assumes accountability, conveys sincere concern, and the apology is direct. Most companies are too cautious to pull off an apology like this. Maybe the willingness to offer a genuine, bold apology after a service mishap is part of the reason JetBlue has topped the JD Power rankings for best in customer service for four consecutive years.

If your goal is to restore customer confidence and retain more customers, you need to apologize to customers in the wake of any problem, regardless of fault. When you do, you create emotional bonds with customers and build and strengthen customer loyalty.

Following are the 5 simple steps to apologizing to customers. Continue reading “The Corporate Apology: How to Apologize In 5 Easy Steps”

How a Tweet Brought My Internet Back Up

 

Last week my Internet started dropping and it resulted in me having to stop a webcast for a client.  Because my telephone is VOIP, whenever my Internet is down, so is my telephone line. The constant dropping of the Internet was a big inconvenience for one my clients, who had paid for and arranged to attend the webcast and it was aggravating to me, to say the least.

The Internet problems persisted for four consecutive days. And on each of those four days I called my cable company, Cox Communications in Tulsa, for help. Now, the thing about my Internet problem is, it was sporadic. The Internet would go down and come back up, usually pretty quickly. By the time I reached a live person at Cox, I’d be back online. One Tech I spoke with told me there was nothing they could do for me because at the time of my call, nothing was wrong.

Frustrated, I logged on to Twitter and posted this gripe:

“Cox Communications in Tulsa just basically told me there’s nothing they can do about my modem constantly dropping Internet!!!!”7:23 PM Apr 7th from web.

First thing the next morning, I received the following Tweet from Cox Communications:

If you need help getting your Internet problems resolved I’m here to help.

8:33 AM Apr 8th from web in reply to myragolden

 

Even though I actually teach companies how to get involved in online conversations with consumers and use social media for customer service, I was blown away with the immediate response from Cox. I was wearing my “consumer” hat and this was totally unexpected.

I couldn’t believe Cox had a Twitter account and that they monitored Twitter conversations. Not only was Cox listening, but they actually solved my problem! I learned from the Cox Twitter guy that my modem was transmitting high signals and that it was working too hard. The problem was quickly resolved with a service call, which the Twitter guy setup for me.

Now, how did the Cox Communications find my gripe so quickly? Probably, the Cox Twitter guy went to TwitterSearch.Com and typed in Cox Communications. Twitter Search offers real-time search of tweets, that’s Twitter entries. Once he typed in “Cox Communications” he was able to immediately see my tweet and he we was able to reply with an offer to help. And he saved the day for me. Not only that, but his intervention resulted in a ton of positive word-of-mouse advertising for the company. After I received his initial tweet, I posted another tweet that praised the company. Not only that, but  I shared the story with all of my FaceBook friends and now I’m sharing it with you.

Are you monitoring online conversations about your brand? If not, why aren’t you? My blockbuster webinar, “Social Media Is the New Customer Service” will put your company on the fast-track to protecting your brand credibility by listening to online conversations. The live event has passed, but you can download the digital recording right now and watch it with everyone on your customer service and marketing teams. Here are the details:

 http://www.callcenterwebinars.com/socialmedia_rec.html