Many companies that work with clients also have a customer support service. When you sell products or services, many unpredictable things could appear. Maybe a customer does not know how to install the software on their laptops. Maybe someone is not satisfied with the product and wants a refund. There are many reasons people might choose to call the call center of your company, so it is important to have employees that are prepared to handle emotionally difficult calls.
Even though these calls might not be so common, they can become stressful and ruin your day. Not everyone knows how to deal with difficult customers, especially with those aggressive ones. Even though you are not the one responsible for their problem, you are the company representative that has to solve the issue and deal with the problem first.
Dealing with these kinds of moments can be difficult and stressful and this is why leaders should help employees overcome them. How to support employees dealing with emotionally difficult calls? Find out below.
Provide mentorship from experienced employees
As you work in the customer support department, you answer a lot of business calls. Even though each of them is different, some categories or patterns can be identified. Teaching these patterns to your employees is essential, especially to the new ones that do not have any experience. Of course, this does not mean that the ones that have worked in this domain before knowing it all.
But it is important to identify the employees that need training and mentorship and the ones that are experienced in this domain. If a beginner is mentored by someone more experienced, it will be easier to learn how to deal with emotionally difficult calls.
For example, they can listen to the calls their mentors handle and see how they deal with different situations. Seeing someone doing what you have to do is a nice experience and for sure employees will get the support they need. At their first calls, the mentor can stand near them and listen to the call. Maybe they can give some suggestions along the way, as every call is different.
Give time to recover
Dealing with emotionally difficult calls can make work challenging and overwhelming. Besides, after a call like this, you need some time to unwind and relax. If you need to handle call after call and most of the customers are angry and dissatisfied, stress and burden can easily appear. As a leader, you need to support the employees to take a break and reduce stress.
Many of them avoid doing this because they do not know if it’s okay to do it. And so, they overstretch their nerves and patience and end the working day in a bad mood. It is essential to nurture a company culture where they know they can take a break after dealing with emotionally difficult calls. And that they are encouraged to do so.
Encourage to stay calm and firm
Many types of customers can call the call center representatives and the most common of them is the yeller. This is the portrait of the angry customer that is completely unsatisfied with the services or products your company offers. Even though you are not responsible for their problem, they will yell at you and be aggressive. Dealing with angry customers is one of the most challenging parts of the customer service job and it can put a toll on the emotional health of employees.
It is important to support your employees and encourage them to be firm and calm. Knowing how to handle these yelling customers is essential, especially because they may insult or curse the agents. Encourage them to not take what the customers say personally and stay calm and firm. It is important to understand the customer so that finding a solution will be easier.
Provide with adequate time to deal with customers
One thing customer support agents need to pay attention to is the time targets they need to follow. Many policies within this department ensure the satisfaction of the customers. Among these should be the rapid time of handling the issue and coming up with a solution. However, in the case of emotionally difficult calls, this is not possible.
There are different types of customers that could make the conversation longer, so it is important to let your employees know that in these cases, they do not have to worry about the time targets. It is more important that the customer ends the call satisfied with the result than not.
Coach agents for difficult calls
The coaching process is very important in the case of employees that are customer support agents. Dealing with emotionally difficult calls is not something you wish for, but something that will happen from time to time. Everyone reacts differently when confronted with bad moments, so it is crucial to coach your employees on how to handle these moments.
The easiest way to teach them practical skills is to listen to their call recordings. Discuss how they have handled some past customers and what they could have done better. Nevertheless, appreciate their effort to deal with the challenges of this job. They need to feel appreciated and valued because this will motivate them to overcome emotionally difficult calls.
Create a culture of peer support
Customer support agents can get support from their leader, but they can also find support among their colleagues. Each of them will handle customer calls, so they will gain more and more experience. Because some patterns or calls can be sorted into categories, there surely are some best ways to handle a specific type of customer, for example the angry ones.
Organizing sessions with teams where agents share their call experiences can help a lot in dealing with emotionally difficult calls easier. It is also crucial to acknowledge and understand how they feel in these moments and what their needs are. Learning from colleagues’ experiences is also a nice way to feel supported.
Be in it, together!
Many types of customers choose to call customer support and service. Some of them might be calm and open-minded, while others are angry and demanding. As a customer support agent, you go through emotionally difficult calls often.
These types of calls can be tiring, stressful, and demotivating, especially when you talk with a customer that yells, curses and insults you. It is therefore important to support employees in dealing with emotionally difficult calls. There are many ways you can do this, among which are to organize sharing sessions and coach them by using recordings of their calls.
Moreover, you need to let them know that it is okay to take a break after handling an emotionally difficult call, but also encourage them to stay calm and firm. They can get mentorship from more experienced colleagues who can teach them how to handle different customers.