Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Emotions in Motion

They might be angry. They might be frustrated. Then again, they might be overwhelmed. They could burst out into tears! As a Call Center Representative, it's possible, you could run into each and everyone of them depending on the nature of your business.

Angry Alberts
When dealing with the angry, themost important thing is to let them vent and while they are venting take note of their major issues. As the ranting comes to an end, apologize. No it's not your fault. You probably didn't cause the problem. You aren't apologizing for your mistake, you are apologizing for the company. It's business and not personal. Read back to them what you think the problem is. This lets them know they've been heard.

Frustrated Frieda's
Frustrated callers are usually upset because something isn't working the way it's supposed to, because they've been on hold too long or gone through too many menus to reach a human, because they worked on the problem for a good while before they called. Again, an apology goes a long way ... and so does an explanation. If there is a reason for the hold time, if it is a problem that many people encounter, let the caller know. Acknowledging the reason for the frustration can go a long way.

Overwhelmed Oscars
Overwhelmed callers have a lot on their plate and whatever problem they are calling about is a crisis, they simply don't have the time or the patience to deal with. Always apologize and if it is something that can be handled quickly, let them know that. If it seems more complex, repeat the problem back and lay out the plan of action to them including time frames if possible. They want the assurance that the problem can be handled effectively and without another call if possible.

Crying Carol
You don't know what caused the water works. If you work in banking or mortgage loans, it could be a serious financial problem. However, if you don't work in an area where you deal with high stakes, and possible high emotions, you could still encounter the occasional emotional meltdown because the problem they are dealing with on your call, is the straw that broke the camels back. I locked my keys in my car once and had a total meltdown on the phone with AAA. Too much was going on and that was just the last straw!

When dealing with criers, like the Angry Alberts, give them a minute to vent. Speak to them in a calm, pleasant tone, getting frustrated or short with them will only make them worse. If it can be (and it usually can), let them know that solving their problem is doable. Give them the steps you'll take. If there is any action they need to take, make sure to have them repeat it back to you. Sometimes emotional people are so caught up in emotions that they don't hear you.

Humans are emotional animals, dealing with their emotions ... and yours ... is part of the game.