To build healthier businesses, it is important to manage customer’s expectations and take the necessary steps to avoid arguments, disputes and other forms of conflict.
In business, conflict is inevitable. However, if mismanaged or ignored, conflict can become bad for business. If you don’t adequately address and resolve conflict, it can negatively impact customer retention, loyalty and brand awareness.
Most conflicts can be resolved in their earliest stages. Here are 12 conflict resolution tips for excellent customer service. They will help your call center agents avoid and resolve conflicts in their early stages before they interfere with the relationship between you and your customer.
1. Allow customers to talk
Allow angry customers to talk and express their feelings until they release their frustration and calm down.
2. Be neutral
Do not offer your opinion, agree or disagree with customers. Offer empathic support and work to solve their problems effectively.
3. Use the correct tone
Don’t smile, laugh or mock upset customers. Convey empathy with a soft tone.
4. Show you care
Use empathy statements to show you understand the customer’s feelings or frustrations.
Find something to agree with the customer about. An agreement will result in collaboration and cooperation.
When a customer is tangential, redirect the conversation back to the important issues and focus his attention on constructive solutions.
7. Use verbal softeners
Use words like “likely”, “typically”, “perhaps”, “sometime”, “possibly” or “occasionally” with customers who might not respond well to categorical words like “always” or “never”.
8. Make angry conversations private
Avoid talking with angry customers within earshot of employees or other customers.
9. Don’t react
Never respond to angry comments. Allow the customer to voice their opinion and interject with helpful redirection when appropriate.
10. Use silences
When customers talk, listen and wait for a silence. When your customer has stopped talking, then summarize their main point and work together on a solution.
11. Use timeouts
If customers are frustrated, annoyed, or are not capable of engaging in a productive conversation, allow them the opportunity to think by themselves for short periods of time. Then, address their concerns effectively.
12. Set limits
When customers refuse to act constructively and alternative methods have been exhausted, set limits and end the interaction.
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Customer service representatives can use the above conflict resolution tips to resolve most disputes to resolve issues before they impact the company.
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