When someone around you speaks about using live chat for customer support, you might instantly think about simplicity. After all, customers love the convenience and efficiency of having their answers just a chat away. There is no need to pick up the phone or send an e-mail without having the slightest idea of when you will get a reply. However simple it sounds, it can sadly become a stage for angry customers. And they are not always easy to handle!
It seems easy to handle enraged customers because chat operators “only” have to read the messages and type the answers. However, an angry customer can still affect the agent’s mood. But those situations never restrain them from working hard to find the best solutions and leave customers happy.
Thinking about some of the ways to appease the customer, we selected five tips to help agents handle angry customers on live chat. Keep reading to learn more about them.
Don’t Fight Against the Angry Customers
In the first moment, all you have to do is read. Showing the same level of emotion will only be counterproductive. When we feel frustrated, there is nothing worse than hearing something similar to “Just calm down,” right? It is like adding fuel to the fire.
Angry customers will either write an extensive message explaining the situation or send a long sequence of short messages. At that moment, just find a way to let them know that you are there. Encourage them to give you details. It will spare you some time to look for the answers and let them blow off steam.
You can send messages like “I see” or “Please, tell me more.” Ask the angry customers what happened and why they are unsatisfied. Even if you are aware of the answer and know what can be done, let them do the writing first.
Do a Small Recap and Keep Assessing the Interaction
Avoiding negative language takes some practice. After all, it is easier just to say to the customer that, unfortunately, you cannot help them today. But practice being positive when typing your messages and applying an optimistic attitude to your replies. Customers expect you to provide a solution to their problem – and an angry one won’t react nicely to a negative response.
Positive language helps agents in keeping the interaction moving in a positive direction. Depending on the context, you can do a quick recap of what the customer pointed out. It is a way to be sure that you understood their request well. Moreover, it avoids misinterpretations.
Sometimes, you can do nothing else, as you have made every effort and already passed the issue on to the manager. Customers can do nothing but wait. In this case, we suggest formulating your reply around the “I wish I could. What I can do for you at the moment is…” formula.
Be Careful With Your Tone and Choice of Words
Just as we recommend using positive language when handling angry customers, we advise you to be careful with your choice of words too. Messaging is much different than a phone call. The customer can’t hear you. However, they can be sensitive enough to become picky by the way you communicate with them.
Avoid exclamation marks and make sure that the caps lock is not activated. Double-check what you wrote before you hit the send button. In this way, you’ll prevent spelling and grammar mistakes.
Reassure the Angry Customers by Being Empathetic
Empathy is all about attempting to feel how the customer feels at that moment. After all, we were all customers at a certain point. Everyone has a story or is aware of a situation where someone struggled to solve a problem.
So even before you apologize, express your empathy by saying that you understand how they feel. You can also say that you know how frustrating it can be, followed then by your apologies.
If the situation allows for it, it is also possible to share a similar incident with the customer. Have you ever had the same problem? Have you helped any angry customers with the same issue recently? Share this experience and tell them more about how it got to a resolution and how you found truth in the matter.
Through this action, you somehow add a personal touch to the conversation and humanize the customer experience.
What Can Be Done to Fix the Issue?
Now that you read what the customer had to say, showed your empathy, and apologized, it is time to chat about concrete solutions. Is it within your power to solve the problem, or can you offer a temporary solution? Is there anything the customer can do themselves?
Analyze the situation attentively. If you see that the resolution depends on someone else, be honest, but try to reassure the customer that they won’t need to wait forever. When you have to wait for another department to handle the situation, you might have an estimated time frame.
But as it says, it is an estimation. In those cases, it is possible to get to a middle path and tell the customer that your team is working hard to bring them a solution as soon as possible.
As you may notice, angry customers might be challenging to handle, but they are far from being impossible to deal with. Moreover, learning how to cope under stressful situations is an essential skill to be mastered by customer service agents.
Groove’s research pointed out that 84% of organizations working to improve customer service reported an increase in revenue. Agents who know how to handle angry customers can deliver value through every step of the customer’s journey.
And we have everything to help you with that. Check here!