7 Comebacks for the Customer Who Cusses at You

To get straight to the 7 Comebacks for the Customer Who Cusses at You, head to the end of this post. I won’t be offended at all. But if you have a minute, I’d like to tell you about my weekend first, and the conversation that inspired this post, addressing customers who swear.

It’s been a busy time for me with work lately, but I made enjoyment and family the priority over the weekend. Last week was dedicated to preparing for a keynote for the wonderful folks at F&M Bank. I delivered the keynote on Saturday and it was so very well received. God was with me!

After my keynote, I met up with my daughter and we walked to a lovely vegan-friendly restaurant in downtown Oklahoma City. My daughter had already eaten, so she enjoyed a decadent dessert while I savored every bite of my Cauliflower Steak lunch, with kale gremolata, and scarlet quinoa with apples and squash. I loved it!

fullsizerender Continue reading “7 Comebacks for the Customer Who Cusses at You”

Here’s How to Respond to the Customer Who Asks to Speak to Your Supervisor

Women with headsets working at a call center

Thanks to the Internet and social media, customers are savvier now than ever before.  Although this sounds like a good thing, the net result is an increase in stress for customer service professionals.

According to Newsweek magazine, the stress level of customer service representatives is comparable to that of air-traffic controllers and police officers.  To be clear, the role of customer service now ranks as one of the 10 most stressful jobs in the U.S.

One of the things I’m working on right now is how to find ways to relieve the stress contact center agents face on a daily basis. It’s hard to get verbally abused daily and to have to deal with constant phone calls and emails all day.

Dealing with the customer who demands to speak to your supervisor is stressful. The right approach to this customer will result in a less stressful situation for you.

What not to do when a customer asks to speak to a supervisor

  1. When a customer asks to talk to a supervisor, don’t refuse. That’s what is known as “pushing.” If a customer is pressed, they will push back. Meaning they will be more difficult.
  2. Don’t only say, “Ok. Hold while I transfer you.” You don’t want to sound dismissive or flippant. Besides, you are a customer service professional. You are paid for your expertise, diplomacy, and knowledge. You know, I know, and your supervisor knows that you have all the skill you need to help any customer that shows up on your phone. So, make a reasonable effort to try to help the customer.

What to Say to the Customer Who Asks to Speak to a Supervisor: The “U S A Method”

Try responding to the customer who asks to speak to your supervisor using the U S A method.

USA stands for …

  • Understanding Statement. Don’t say anything to the customer who asks for a supervisor without first demonstrating that you fully understand their frustration (or whatever it is they are feeling). It is essential that the customer feels you know the inconvenience or problem they have experienced. If they don’t feel you understand what they are feeling, they may become more difficult, and the call will most likely escalate.
  • Situation. Explain the situation. That is, explain that you can and would very much like to help the customer.
  • Action. Convey to the customer that if you aren’t able to help them, you will let them speak to a supervisor. That is the action you commit to taking.

U S A in action…

So, right out of the gate your customer asks to speak with a supervisor. Here’s how you could respond using U S A:

Understanding Statement:

“I respect your request to talk to a supervisor.”

Situation:

“My supervisor is counting on me to do my job and resolve problems our customers encounter. Will you give me an opportunity to try to solve the problem before we go any further?”

Or

“Will you give me a chance to try and resolve this for you. That’s why I’m here.”

Action:

“If after speaking with me, you are still unhappy, I’ll immediately connect you with my supervisor. How does that sound?”

This is not a “magic wand” approach, but in many cases, when you demonstrate empathy with an understanding statement, explain the situation, and tell the customer what you can do, you will be doing your very best.

When you respond to the request for a supervisor with the USA method, you will find that fewer calls have to be escalated to your supervisors and that you are more confident in your response.

In this video, I three additional tips for de-escalation.

Imagine sitting in a local coffee shop that’s nestled in a bookstore, and talking over a latte with Myra about ways to help your employees deliver the best possible customer experience and ways to help reduce stress on your employees as they deal with demanding customers.

Every week, often literally from a coffee shop, Myra gives you ideas that in one way or another is actionable towards improving your customer experience.

Sign up and join Myra over coffee every week.

 

The Psychology of Customer Anger (Flashback Friday)

Flashback Friday! My kids used to post Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday photos on Instagram. They don’t  do that anymore. In fact, they spend more time on Snapchat than on Instagram.

Well, I’m doing a Flashback post of my own – even if flashback posts are out of style.

I joined YouTube in 2007 and one of the first videos I published was “The Psychology of Customer Anger.”

That cheesy video has gotten over 60,000 views. I cringe when I look at the quality of the video and my style in front of the camera. My son laughed out loud when he came into my office last night and I had the video up.

I look so different from back then, nearly 10 years ago. I’ve lost weight, like 30 pounds. I wear my hair kinky curly. I like to think I’m more controlled and poised in front of the camera.

But my strategies haven’t changed. Not much anyway. I’m taking a risk and posting this Flashback Friday video because one, some or all of these tips just may help you get an angry customer to back down.

Try not to laugh too hard.

Continue reading “The Psychology of Customer Anger (Flashback Friday)”

How to Handle Difficult Customers Using Verbal Aikido

Myra Golden Customer Service Training Highlight

Verbal Aikido: A non-aggressive, highly effective strategy for handling difficult customers

Myra Golden Slide Deck WIDE.001

Thanks to the Internet and social media, customers are more savvy now than ever before.  Although this sounds like a good thing, the net result is an increase in stress for frontline customer service professionals. According to Newsweek magazine, the stress level of consumer services professionals is comparable to that of air-traffic controllers and police officers.  In short, the role of customer service now ranks as one of the 10 most stressful jobs in the U.S.

In this keynote Myra Golden reveals that extremely difficult customers are determined to force corporations—via the customer service professional—to give in to the consumer demands—reasonable or not.  This means the customer service professional must develop a response plan.

Myra, a former global head of customer care, teaches leaders how to achieve harmony with dissatisfied and difficult customers through the use of empathy, conversational aikido and a solid recovery strategy.

The outcome of this keynote is an audience that is prepared to develop a customer-recovery plan that empowers customer service professionals to understand how to create calm; how to find resolutions that balance the interests of the customer and the company; how to reduce escalations; and how to create a positive conversation.

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“If your organization’s growth relies on improving the customer experience, you would benefit enormously from an engagement with Myra Golden. Her vast hands-on experience in a wide variety of service organizations differentiates herself from many other consultants we have worked with in the past. Our organization has utilized Myra’s online webinars with outstanding results as well. Very high value for your consulting dollar.

Beth Dockins

Former Director, Customer Service, Audit, Admin at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. 


Key Take-aways:

  • Learn exactly what it takes to restore customer confidence and regain goodwill after a service failure.
  • Examine the 6 steps for a customer recovery plan that empowers employees with excellent decision-making and judgment skills, resolves problems at the first encounter and restores customer trust.
  • Discover how your employees can communicate assertively, create calm and take control with difficult customers by using conversational aikido.
  • Explore ways to build stronger emotional connections with customers through Extreme Empathy
  • Execute your new customer recovery strategy faster by using a new fiercely focused project plan that gets all of your horses going in the same direction.

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“I am still receiving compliments on your polished and actionable presentation! You are a complete professional who can connect with your audience through warmth and deep knowledge. I hope to have you back again!”

Michelle Singer, President, American Marketing Association – Tulsa Chapter


Download a PDF brochure of this keynote description

Videos discussing key points from Myra’s Verbal Aikido training workshop 

This video is about the Aikido principle of “don’t push”

This video is about the Yielding technique, another Verbal Aikido principle Myra’s participants learn in the Verbal Aikido workshop

 

Myra Golden

Customer Experience Designer & Professional Speaker

Myra Golden Media
Phone: 918-398-9368
Fax: 832-218-8464
info@myragolden.com

Visit Myra’s Keynote Speaking & Customer Service Training website: www.MyraGolden.com

Connect with Myra on Twitter: @myragolden.

You Have to Acknowledge a Customer’s Anger. Here’s Why.

A common mistake I hear customer service professionals make when I perform quality checks is ignoring the customer’s expression of anger.

Great Day-2

There is something known as the communication chain. When people communicate, they expect the person they are communicating with to respond or react…this response is a link in the communication chain. A failure to respond to communication leaves the communication chain broken.

For example, If I open a customer service training with “Good morning!”…and the audience is dead silent, they’ve broken the communication chain. And that leaves me feeling awkward, perhaps embarrassed. I’d have the uncomfortable feeling that the workshop would not go well, based on the lack of acknowledgement.

If a customer expresses anger and we fail to respond to it, the communication chain is broken and the customer feels like they are not getting through. The customer might become even angrier and more difficult, as they are resorting to whatever it takes to feel heard and understood.

Continue reading “You Have to Acknowledge a Customer’s Anger. Here’s Why.”