Best Strategies to Resolve Conflict in Customer Service
Ensuring smooth and conflict-free contact center operations are the key points to increase proficiency and customer satisfaction. Statistics from State of Global Customer Service, by Microsoft, states that:
- 58 % of customers said that they choose a brand according to the quality of a brand’s customer service.
- 61% of customers said that they switched to another brand due to poor customer service.
Therefore, customer satisfaction is the most crucial factor in brand existence. Conflicts are the indispensable parts of a business. It can become risky for businesses if conflicts are mishandled or ignored.
Many conflicts can be successfully resolved if they are handled at the right time and in the right way. Here are several best strategies to resolve conflicts in customer service.
Handle angry customers skillfully:
Contact center representatives have to answer angry customer calls every day. It depends on the representative whether such interactions result in customer retention or customer loss.
Proper training, tools, and contact center solutions are essential factors for the contact center representative to handle the annoying customers on call.
The below steps will help to handle such customers skillfully:
Let the customer talk: First, listen to them, let their all stress, frustration burst out in the beginning. After identifying the reason for anger, give them a solution. Sometimes, if the customer gets a chance to express his disaffection, they regret and let you solve the problem from your end.
Do not react: Be neutral and never respond to angry customers. Never express your opinion, agree, disagree with them initially, and let them be calm.
Follow policy guidelines for exceptional cases: If the customer is threatening, abusing, swearing, or using violent words, then follow the company’s policy guidelines for handling demanding customers. If the company’s policy allows you to end such exaggerating conversations, then end the call.
Show your concern: Mention sympathetic words in your conversation to let them know that you care about their feelings or dissatisfaction.
Avoid keeping on hold: Many contact center representatives assume that keeping angry customers on hold will reduce their anger during hold time. However, it is a myth. It makes them feel less valued for the company and adds more disaffection and negativity about the company.
Make the customer happy: Finally, agents have to take proper action according to the problem. For example, the agent can give them various solutions like giving refunds or vouchers and asking them for other complaints. Agents should assure them of solutions in case of a complex problem.
As a company’s representative, all customers are equally valued. Apart from angry customers, other customers also expect a solution to their issues.
If they are mishandled, they walk away to find another brand. Here are some common but essential strategies to handle all customers.
Be a perfect listener:
It is important to hear the customer first. It applies to all calls, not only to angry customer calls. It enables the agent to understand the mindset and intention of a customer. Therefore, he can solve the problem accordingly.
Keep track of the previous conversation:
The record of previous customer interaction helps in many ways:
a) If an agent is unable to find a solution, he can go through the previous conversation. It will help to identify the exact requirement of the customer. This can help in solving the problem very effectively.
b) Understanding the requirements will help in product/service improvement.
c) Targeting customers for up-selling/cross-selling according to their interest.
d) It realizes them that they are a valuable customer for the company.
Find something to agree with:
Agreeing with the customer’s point helps to establish healthy, friendly customer interaction. Customers can openly express all his likes, dislikes, and expectations about the company.
Adopt the right tone:
Agents represent the brand, so if there is an issue, then the agent should apologize to the customer. If it is the customer’s fault, then avoid blaming but help them. May be customers are unable to understand issues.
In that case, explain several times. Convey sympathy, care, apology, and happiness with a soft tone in every phone call accordingly. Keep transparency with the customer about everything that helps to gain a loyal customer.
Use proper words:
Use soft words during a conversation. Avoid words like “never”, “clearly” and “always”. Customers may find it difficult to communicate in such conversations. Instead, the agent can use words like “possibly”, “sometimes “and “feasibly”.
Keep time intervals:
Sometimes, the frustrated, unsatisfied customer may find it difficult to have healthy communications. Do not hurry to take any final action like end-of-conversation or giving an improper solution.
Here agents must allow them some time to think and decide. During this, the agent can follow them up by providing valuable suggestions or guide them.
Knowledge is power, and it brings confidence. An agent with in-depth knowledge can communicate effectively and confidently. A comprehensive knowledge base assists agents in finding important information quickly so that he can respond to customers in a short time.
A knowledge base must be easily accessible to the agents to reduce the Average Handle Time (AHT) of a call. Keep it updated with the latest information.
Incorporate the latest technology:
Technology has the power to transform businesses. Technologies like IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics already brought huge transformation for various sectors. Pursuing the latest technology over time provides several benefits. Today’s customer is highly aware of the technology.
voiding the implementation of new technology for customer service can put the company several years back as compared to competitors. Technology improves efficiency and productivity.
The AI-enabled Voice Assistant is best for customer service that automates several operations and improves the agent’s productivity. It communicates in a natural human voice, and supports several features like; call data analysis, detecting customer intent, and multilingual feature, which makes it all in one solution for customer service.
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