Bad customer service - How to avoid it

It can be difficult to accept that some of your employees’ attitudes can have a negative impact on your customers.

Bad customer service - How to avoid it

Poor customer service could be the result of a lack of training or the employee may be having a bad day. If the customer feels like they’re not getting the service they’re entitled to, they may act up.

Regardless of who had the bad attitude first, it’s your employees’ responsibility to try to get the customer onside. Your employee can simply ask how they can help the customer. A sincere question can serve to disarm a rude customer. However, if the question is asked in an antagonistic tone, it could serve to upset the customer even further. Training your team to offer better customer service can go a long way in preventing customers getting irritated, which normally escalates into rudeness. Your customer service training should include:

Developing scripts
It’s likely that you and your team have encountered the same type of rude customer more than once. Use this experience to role-play the scenarios where interaction with a customer is less than ideal. Develop scripted responses based on this exercise. Your team can use these answers when they encounter a rude customer. While using canned responses, your team should be aware that they may need to amend them to find what works best for each rude customer. The point is to equip your team with responses that form the foundation for dealing with rude customers.

Staying calm 
No one likes to be shouted at or dismissed. Although it may be justifiable, ‘giving as good as you get’ when a customer is rude will only escalate the situation. Your training should focus on helping your team to stay calm in heated situations. Your training should help your team develop strategies to pacify the situation without doing things that could irritate the customer even further, such as making sarcastic remarks. It’s important for employees to keep their feelings under control and sometimes bite their tongues when dealing with rude customers.

Avoiding the blame game
Employees should be trained to avoid using language that blames the customer or the company. Directly blaming the customer – even if it’s their mistake – is a guaranteed way of getting them even more irate. However, blaming the company can lead to the customer filing a lawsuit. Instead of saying that the customer or the company has made a mistake, the employee could try saying the following, “I’m really sorry, there seems to be a mistake and we’ll try to fix it immediately.” This response demonstrates to the rude customer that you’ve acknowledged that something’s gone wrong and you’ll try your best to rectify it.

Part of Dan Westmoreland's article 
Marketing Campaigns Manager
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