Tip #486: A Technique to Expedite Customer Complaint Calls

“The usual fortune of complaint is to excite contempt more than pity.
Samuel Johnson

If you have a call center that handles customer complaints, this strategy may be very useful for handling callers who feel compelled to give you the complete background and all of the details involving their complaint.

I offer it to you, with thanks to my son, Seth Robbins, who is a genius at handling customers in an objective, neutral, respectful and timely manner.

After you have thanked the person for calling, identified yourself and asked how you can be of service:

1.      Recognize the sense of urgency, but remain neutral.

“I hear that you are upset.”  “I appreciate your frustration.”

2.      Outline the “agenda” for the call.

“In order for me to assist you, I will need to get information from you in a specific order. I may interrupt you to make sure that I have everything I need.”

3.      As soon as possible, put the focus on the solution, not the problem.

“As upset as you are, I am sure that you want to have us look into this matter as quickly as possible. ”

4.      Ask specific, focused questions.

Instead of asking: “Who was involved?”- say: “Please give me the names of the people involved.

5.      Provide the options available to help the caller feel in control.

“These are the avenues open to you.” Or “This may involve several stages. First, we…..  If you are not satisfied, then you….”

Summarize what the caller can expect to happen next and thank the person again for calling.

May your learning be sweet.


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