Presented by: Heather J. Donnelly HDI Certified Instructor. Telephone Skills

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1 Presented by: Heather J. Donnelly HDI Certified Instructor Telephone Skills

2 Objectives Recall the key principles for dealing with an irate caller Apply specific techniques effective in providing excellent service to irate callers What is YOUR goal?

3 Icebreaker My job is on the line...

4 Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever taken a call and been greeted by a blast of angry words? Share your story!

5 5-Point System It s nothing personal The ASAP Technique You can satisfy most of the people most of the time Use the swear stopper No excuses

6 Managing an Angry Caller Most angry callers will begin to unload their anger before you get a chance to say anything more than your greeting because: They are upset at you (or your company, or the services that your company provides) They don t like you (or your company, or the services that your company provides) The Help Desk (or you) did or didn t do something

7 It s nothing personal... You are not the problem You are a lightening rod diffuser They just want to be heard! They are not angry at you They want to vent their anger

8 Learn to Shield Yourself...

9 How should you react to an irate caller? Like a Lion fight back and teach them some manners Like a Robot show no emotion & don t respond to their outburst Like a Lightening Rod... Diffuse the anger!

10 Is this your role?

11 The Diffuser Course Changer

12 This should be your role

13 When confronted by an angry caller Don t hang up Don t be rude Remember it s not personal You are the front line Don t shoot the messenger

14 The ASAP Technique Apologize Sympathize/Empathize Validation Empathy Accept Responsibility Prepare to Help

15 Why is apologize 1 st on the list? Because the callers feelings are critical in a situation like this Because it s the right thing to do By acknowledging the caller s feelings, it will help to diffuse the anger Feelings are a key to solving problem

16 The 80/20 Rule Spend... 80% of your time initially on the person s feelings 20% of your time initially on the person s problem

17 Apologizing vs. Empathizing Apology says you regret the problem Empathize says you understand his/her feelings Validation Sympathy

18 Empathy Which of the following phrases DO NOT show empathy? I realize how difficult that must be I don t blame you for being angry... I would be angry too. I ve felt that way before. I ll transfer you to someone who can help you

19 Accepting Responsibility Reassures the caller that you can and will help them When you answer the phone you represent the company and you accept 100% of the responsibility of the caller

20 No Excuses! Don t offer excuses Offer Help!

21 Excuses vs. Solution... EXCUSES Tells the caller I CAN T HELP YOU SOLUTIONS Assure caller in positive terms that you can and will help them solve their problem

22 Answer the question below... Which of the following is an excuse and which is a solution? The computer is down and the person responsible for that is out to lunch until 2pm. The computer is not responding and assistance is limited at this time. Let me see what other option we can come up with. Is there a number I can call you back on?

23 When you answer the phone... When you answer the phone for your company how much responsibility belongs to you? 10% YOURS (90% Your Company) 50% YOURS (50% Your Company) 100% YOURS

24 Which of the following... Show that you accept responsibility Again, let me introduce myself... I m Mary, and let me see how I can help you get this problem solved. I can help you, but you need to calm down. I can t help you because our computer is down and the person that fixes it is out to lunch.

25 Accepting Responsibility Reintroduce yourself Reassure your caller Don t blame others (that includes other departments, analysts, etc.) Don t make excuses

26 Let s do some coaching... Be prepared to help Use the caller s name Ask permission to use the caller s first name It s important to express your sincere interest in solving the problem Re-phrase what the caller expresses as the real problem

27 You can satisfy people... Most of the time; Otherwise EXPLAIN, but do not enter into a discussion REFER caller to a supervisor or manager ACCEPT that some people can never be satisfied no matter what you do or how hard you try!

28 When does ASAP not work??? Unusually serious situation Highly complicated Recurring situation All of the above

29 Swear Stoppers! Which of the following should you do if a customer begins swearing while you are on a trouble call?? Allow them to vent for a short time; reassure you can help; show no emotion or reaction to their swearing. Interject immediately; assure you can help, address the offensive language Tell the customer you are hanging up the phone if he/she refuses to stop swearing and then DO IT!

30 Use the Swear Stopper Interject immediately! SAY EXCUSE ME. Assure caller you can help them SAY I CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR PROBLEM Address offensive language Say I CAN T HANDLE YOUR ABUSIVE LANGUAGE Keep control of the call Begin asking Follow-Up questions

31 FYIs and Tidbits Pleasant voice always smile May not realize their language Practice the three C s: Calm Cool Confident

32 More Tidbits Take control of the call with a firm and professional manner Ask Open Ended questions that probe for additional information Resist the temptation to become rude

33 Case Scenarios Mr. Stewart calls the Service Desk demanding that someone come to his desk immediately and fix his printer. Analyst: Good Morning, I/T Service Desk, this is Mary, may I have your customer ID please? Mr. Stewart: I need someone to come up to my desk immediately. This printer is not working again. Can t you people ever fix anything right? How Should Mary Respond? I m apologize that this has happened Mr. Stewart. I can understand how you feel. Hold on now, nobody s perfect. That s not good. May I get your last name please?

34 What part of Mary s response shows she is empathizing with the customer? I can just imagine how annoying that must be. Let s see how I can help. That s not good. Can I get your last name?

35 How should Mary accept responsibility for the call? That s handled by Desktop Support and they don t come in for another hour. You ll have to call back. My name is Mary, and I should be able to help you with this problem. Calm down. I didn t break your printer. Everyone s at lunch now. Can you call back later?

36 Which of these responses will help Mary prepare to solve the caller s problem? OK, I ll look into getting someone up there when I get a chance I m very busy right now. Exactly what s wrong with the printer Mr. Stewart? Just what I needed today.another broken printer.i think our desktop guys are a bunch of morons!

37 Just remember... Don t hang up To the caller you are the Help Desk (even if it was Tier 2 that solved his problem). You are the lightening rod diffuser; your purpose is to identify the problem or issue and work towards a resolution to get it fixed! Don t return the caller s anger. Nothing productive gets accomplished if you let the call become a shouting match. Don t be rude. REMEMBER, it s not personal!

38 And finally... You can satisfy most people most of the time. Use the swear stopper You are not anyone s doormat! Don t make excuses The 3 C s... Calm, Cool, Confidence Take a deep breath, Count to 10, Smile!

39 Additional Scenarios For Practice and Role Play

40 How to handle anger being expressed at earlier treatment Situation: While you were at lunch, your co-worker mishandled a call and really made the customer mad. You get the call back and the anger. How do you smooth it over without making your coworker look stupid (even though he/she might be?) Key Elements: Express your dissatisfaction with the way the matter was handled. Describe what should have occurred. Offer your best recommendations. What you say: Mr. Customer, you should not have to put up with anything but the best from us. Please let me make it right for you by giving top priority to your situation. Why this works: When you tell the customer how he should have been treated and how you intend to make amends, you can draw attention away from your co-worker s behavior. TIP: Focus on what should have happened rather than on what actually happened.

41 Customer refuses to let you explain Situation: Your customer explodes with anger, rebuking you and your Service Desk at great length. You try interrupting, but have no success. Key Elements: Keep absolutely silent until you are invited to speak. Take notes and tell the customer you have been doing so. Paraphrase what the customer has told you and ask for concurrence. Ask for additional information if something is missing. What you say: When you discover a non-stop talker, don t say anything at all: no uh-huh, no I see, NOTHING! Eventually the customer will ask, Are you still there? That is when you can say: Yes sir/ma am, and I ve been keeping careful notes. Is there anything else you d like to ad? Why this works: Customers need feedback sooner or later. When they are ready, you can take charge with a carefully crafted phrase. Take seriously their remarks and encourage full disclosure.

42 Conversation begins with anger Situation: When you answer the phone, your customer (without warning!) begins speaking in a very angry and hostile manner and you don t know why. Key Elements: Retain the responsibility for understanding. Request a specific non-judgmental action. Give the rationale for your request. What you say: Mr./Ms. Customer, I m having a little trouble keeping up with you. Could you speak a little more slowly so that I can be sure I don t miss any of the details? Why this works: If you can assume the inadequacy for understanding this customer, you can often turn the customer into a helper. People who are angry frequently speak rapidly; a request to speak more slowly is less likely to cause the situation to escalate than if you tell the customer to calm down (a taboo in ANY case!).

43 You are accused of being rude Situation: Your customer wants you to change hours of operation because he always works late. When you explain that there are other channels doing business with your service desk after hours, the customer ignores your explanation and accuses you of being rude. Key Elements: Acknowledge his/her feeling. Apologize for the customer s perception. Ask for more information. What you say: Ms. Customer, I truly do apologize for seeming rude by my answer. I really do want to help you. I appreciate that your work hours are outside of our normal business hours, but assure you that whatever way you contact us for support, your request will receive the highest level of importance. Why this works: When a customer personalizes a complaint and it seems too obvious to overlook, follow up on it. He/she will tell you what you did that offends her/him or will skirt the subject and return to the real problem at hand. TIP: Avoid this strategy if you tend to get on the defensive easily. It takes particular maturity to remain objective when one feels as if they are being attacked.

44 Nothing satisfies the customer Situation: The customer appears unsatisfied after you have told him/her about the available options. The customer won t choose any of them. Key Elements: Empathize. Become a partner with your customer by showing a concern equal to his/hers. Ask for his/her ideas. TIP: If the customer asks for something facetious, such as your head on a platter, then you know he/she is still very angry. Your response at that point is: If I were in your shoes, Mr. Customer, maybe I d want the same thing, but then I wouldn t do either one of us much good at getting to the bottom of this. Let s start over from the beginning and see what we can figure out. What you say: Mr./Ms. Customer, you re disappointed, and you have every right to be. I m disappointed, too, that we can t come to any resolution of this problem you re having. What do you suggest we do next to help you? Why this works: When you have tried everything you can think of to resolve a customer s concern, and nothing seems acceptable, ask you customer, From your point of view, what would be the ideal solution? He/she may say, All I really want is an apology.... And that you can do!

45 Wrap Up - Questions

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