6 More Ways to Get An Angry Customer to Back Down

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Eleven years ago I published my first YouTube video. I called it Top 6 Ways to Get An Angry Customer to Back Down. That little video has gotten more than 2.9 million views. (I have this old-school video at the bottom of the page if you’d like to take a look.)

The style, content, and quality of that video are as far as the east is from the west from my current videos and work. But people watch it, like it and learn from it. So, it serves its purpose.

For some time I’ve wanted to update my Top 6 Ways to Get An Angry Customer to Back Down tactics. In a few days I’m heading to Montreal to help a new client, a team of Customer Service Representatives, get their demanding and unreasonable customers to back down. I’ve spent the last few weeks coming up with solid tactics and strategies for this client.

The tactics and techniques I’ll use in my Montreal training, as it turns out, are an excellent update to my original Top 6 Ways to Get An Angry Customer to Back Down. So, I’m now issuing an update to these strategies and I’m calling this Six More Ways to Get An Angry Customer to Back Down.

Maybe I’ll do a video later when I’m not delivering back-to-back workshops on the road. For now, though, I’ll merely share my new tactics.

1. Create Calm

The first thing you need to do with demanding and unreasonable customers is create calm. Create calm by using anti-inflammatory words and using words that show the customer that getting to the bottom of the problem is as important to you, as it is to them. Statements like these work well:

“I’m sorry you’ve had such a frustrating experience.”

“This is no more acceptable to us than it is to you.”

“Thanks for taking the time to let us know.”

“We want to get to the bottom of this as much as you do.”

Responses like these show the customer that you’re on their side. Customers won’t refute these statements, and you’ll begin to create calm.

2. Limit Your Responses to Simple Reassurances

Continue reading “6 More Ways to Get An Angry Customer to Back Down”

Make Your Email Replies to Customers Easy To Read Using These 4 Tips

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Most of your customers are reading the emails you send on their phones or tablets. And they’re reading your messages while they’re on the go, or doing a couple of other things. Like you, your customers are busy.

You can make it easy for customers to quickly read and understand your message by doing just a few key things. Just as companies design their websites for customers to access information with just a few clicks, you need to structure your emails, so that they can be quickly read, and understood.

Today, I’m giving you four things you can do to make your emails easier for customers to read and understand, by making them scannable.

1. Write in short sentences.

Keep your sentences to 15 -20 words. This makes your emails more scannable, as we keep in mind that many people are reading emails on their phones. Continue reading “Make Your Email Replies to Customers Easy To Read Using These 4 Tips”

8 Interview Questions to Help You Hire for Emotional Intelligence In Customer Service Roles

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Too many hiring managers focus on candidates’ work history when filling customer service roles. They get excited when they read that the candidate has six-plus years working in customer service.

But past work in customer service is not a reliable indicator of future success in serving your customers.

To consistency deliver the best possible customer interactions, you need to hire for emotional intelligence —hiring people with empathy, friendliness, and connection, and then train those people on your systems and policies. These are the people who will do the best job for you.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to hire for emotional intelligence using eight strategic interviewing questions.

The Goal In Interviewing for Customer Service Jobs

We’ll get to the interview questions in a moment. But, for the questions to work, you have to set up the interview properly. When you interview candidates for customer service jobs, you want to get them relaxed and confident, so they can authentically communicate with you. Here are four things, precisely, for you to focus on in your interviews.

Make the Candidate Feel As Comfortable As Possible

Small talk is a fantastic way to get candidates relaxed. Talk about anything – traffic, the cup of coffee you spilled in your last meeting, or a unique piece of jewelry the person is wearing. You want candidates to relax because when people are relaxed, they are more communicative and genuine.

Get Candidates to Tell You Stories

When you ask interview questions, and I’ll give you several questions to use, encourage the person to provide you with detailed examples of how they recently handled specific situations. When candidates talk to you through stories and examples, you’ll get honest and comprehensive insight into how the person is likely to perform in a similar situation at your company.

Laying the Interview Foundation

After making a little small talk and getting your candidate relaxed, set the interview up by saying something like, “I’m going to ask you some questions and what I’m looking for is specific examples that illustrate how you have responded to specific situations in the past. I’ll be taking notes as you talk, but you keep going. Feel free to take your time and think about responses before answering the questions.”

Taking Notes

While your candidate is telling you stories of how they’ve handled specific situations in the past, you need to be taking lots of notes. I want you to jot things down so you can go back and take a close look at how all of the people you interviewed measure up to your expectations. It will be easy to forget the many examples you’ve heard during interviews, so you need to take meeting notes.

Sample Interview Questions

Continue reading “8 Interview Questions to Help You Hire for Emotional Intelligence In Customer Service Roles”

This One Tip Will Instantly Make You Sound Friendlier On the Phone With Customers

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One of the easiest ways to make your conversations with customers more conversational, and friendly, is to speak in complete sentences.

It is so familiar to hear interactions like this:

Last name? First name? Zip code?

It’s undoubtedly efficient to ask customers questions in this manner. However, it’s not the friendliest approach. In this article, I’ll talk to you about instantly improving your ability to connect with customers and sound friendly by just speaking in complete sentences.

Yes, speaking in complete sentences will take a few more seconds, but it’s so worth it, because of how the conversation will flow, and how you’ll be perceived, by your customers.

When you have to ask your customer questions, I want you to do two things:

Continue reading “This One Tip Will Instantly Make You Sound Friendlier On the Phone With Customers”

Having Trouble Controlling Conversations with Customers? This Will Help.

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Studies show the average business call lasts 2 minutes longer than it needs to. Customer service employees struggle with call control for a variety of reasons, including they don’t want to be rude to the customer, they aren’t sure how to move to closure or because the customer is rambling or angry.

Using the principles of harmony, assertiveness and leading from the martial art Aikido, Myra walks your employees through the steps to politely and confidently control conversations.

The outcome of this training is employees who possess the soft skills to make customers feel heard and understood, politely lead conversations and assertively bring calls to closure.

Take this course now for free. Continue reading “Having Trouble Controlling Conversations with Customers? This Will Help.”

Three Proactive Things You Can Do to Pre-empt an Escalation with a Customer

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Tomorrow morning I’m headed to Phoenix to deliver a workshop at the Salesforce Trailblazers for the Future Conference. I booked an extra night at the Arizona Biltmore just because I wanted some “me time” for relaxation and reading. I do this a lot, adding a day or two on to a business trip to chill, explore, and enjoy local restaurants. Do you take time just for you?

Before I wrap things up in my office today and prepare for tomorrow’s early flight, I’m sharing with you three things you can do to pre-empt an escalation with a customer. These tips will help you handle interactions in such a way that you significantly minimize the chance of a customer becoming so incensed that they feel they have to talk to a supervisor.

1. Reflect Your Brand Promise

One of my clients is a furniture protection plan company. A point of upset for a lot of their customers is when customers discover that the damage to their furniture is not covered under warranty. Customers get intensely agitated because they feel what they purchased is not the same thing as the service they are receiving. I encouraged agents in this company to reflect the brand promise in every interaction. I had them focus on explaining first what the protection plan did cover, and then by quickly going over a few of the many benefits of the plan.

Instead of merely telling the customer that their damage was not covered, I instructed agents to say something like,

“You have an excellent plan here. It covers such things as scratches and broken pieces. In this case, we do not cover discoloration of the leather, as fading is a natural occurrence that comes from body oils and usage. If anything else should come up, though, please give us a call, and we’ll be happy to look into things for you.”

Reflecting the brand promise, in this situation, is reminding the customer of the many benefits the protection plan does offer, and by serving customers with a friendly demeanor.

2. Don’t Push

Continue reading “Three Proactive Things You Can Do to Pre-empt an Escalation with a Customer”