6 Tips For Keeping Your Cool When Customers Get Hot

1. Be assertive, not aggressive or passive. My definition of affirmation is simple: “Say what you mean, say what you say and don’t be mean when you say it.” Let this rule guide your conversations with all customers and you will always be safe, calm and in control AND you will always be professional.

With the complexity of your business comes the stress of an effective phone system. With multiple customer service representatives in my company, it was difficult for me to find a phone system that could handle the workload of many users at the same time. After searching for other options, I found a website that allowed me not only to purchase the entire phone system, but also the equipment to add additional lines to my current business system.

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After looking at the cost factors, your business made it easier for me to decide whether it would be more profitable for me to add additional lines to my current phone system or buy a new one. After consulting with telephony professionals, it was decided that a key system would be more effective for my business. This decision was made by evaluating the cost of purchasing a new system versus upgrading an older one.

Ultimately, cost is more important in deciding the benefits for a company’s future success. After consulting with my boss, we discussed the positives and negatives of buying a new system. While the new equipment would have been a great addition, we were concerned about the complexity of the new system. We would like to immediately implement our current business activities in their use and would need training in the use of the new phones.

After great consideration, we purchased a new key system for our customer service staff of nearly 10 people and another 100 employees. After an introductory meeting for all staff on the new system, employees immediately returned to work using the new system within an hour.

This decision was very important to the continued success of my company. I have seen better results with the speed with which calls are transferred to the appropriate representatives. This allows you to address customer needs in a more timely manner. Overall, this new system has positively increased the quality of our customer service.

By investing in a better system, the success of my business and the satisfaction of my customers are better. Quality is absolutely essential for an efficient team. And after taking the time to make a change in my company, I was continually satisfied with my decision.

2. Speak more slowly. You will be amazed at the clarity with which you can think and the control and confidence you feel when you consciously slow down your speech. Speak slowly and methodically when your emotional triggers come into play and you’ll keep your balance during difficult conversations.

3. Wait 1-2 seconds before answering. Responding immediately to difficult or tactical customers can make you say something you will later regret. Before answering, take a deep breath, wait at least 2 seconds and think about the best answer and the best approach.

4. Take a break. When you feel your buttons have been pressed, pause. You can tell the customer that you need to put him on hold while he examines a file, or whatever excuse sounds good at the time. The point is to get away from the customer for a few seconds so they can regroup.

5. Use positive internal dialogue. On this I will sound like Dr. Phil, but I mean it. Instead of saying to yourself, “I’m not getting paid enough to put up with this ____.” Say something more positive like “This guy really needs my help”. Thinking more positively helps you respond more positively and professionally. Negative thoughts lead to negative words and it becomes a very negative situation.

6. Show your power before using it. Often a subtle hint of his “power” is far more effective than the direct use of his power. As a customer service professional, you may have the power to end a phone call. You might say to your client, “If you don’t stop screaming, I’ll finish this call.” But believe it or not, it’s much more “powerful” if you say, “I want to help you, but when you scold me and interrupt me, it makes it hard for me to work with you.” The latest statement demonstrates his power and his message is finally conveyed. The above statement runs out of all your ammo and generally doesn’t dispel an angry customer.

These incredibly simple tips will help you stay calm when customers get horny!

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