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  • The Difficult Caller: Turn a Grinch into a Gift

    Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2015

    by PhonePRO

“Hello? I’d like to order a fruitcake – the one with the pecans.”
“What’s that? You’re sold out?”
“You gotta be kidding me…..What do you mean I should have ordered it earlier?”

And so it goes.

For anyone who handles customers on the telephone, the holidays bring more than just busy days at the office. Indeed, the Difficult Caller seems to come with the season as surely as eggnog and lost packages. Prevention may seem impossible, their damage to morale and your bottom line inevitable. In a 2011 American Express Customer Experience survey, it was found that 78% of consumers have changed their minds about an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.

Snowman top hat answers the phone

And yet, here’s something that should bring you good cheer. Difficult Callers don’t have to be difficult at all. It comes down to this central truth: angry people usually don’t start an interaction angry.  They may be frustrated or confused, but if they turn angry, it’s…(awful truth time!)…probably because of something you said!

Your tone, words and demeanor can be either the ignition for a blow up, or the balm to soothe and satisfy even the most egregious request. Engagement, attitude and word choices can make the difference. Negative words, lack of empathy and criticism (“You should have ordered the pecan fruitcake earlier”) will never win them over.  With the right approach, you may in fact find your “Difficult Caller” turns into your most loyal customer. And THAT is a holiday present you don’t have to like fruitcake to enjoy!

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