Being on the front line you will often come across difficult people. It might be face to face or over the telephone. But the most important thing is you keep your cool. Do not rise to any argument . By keeping your cool it often results in the person apologising for their bad behaviour.
Here are a few tips on how to deal with a difficult call.
- Always smile as you speak and the caller can hear the warmth of your tone.
- NEVER be sarcastic
- Let the caller let off steam, then find out how to help them – try not to interrupt.
- Be patient and offer apologies wherever possible.
- Ask short specific questions to obtain facts – never judge.
- Always take the name of the caller, the nature of the call and a contact telephone number. If in the event that you get cut off you can call the caller back – it won’t look like you have hung up.
- If recording a complaint always date, time and add your name and enter the nature of the complaint.
- If the caller wants to register a complaint arrange for them to receive a complaints form.
- Log the complaint (do you know if your organisation has a procedure for this?). Does another department need to be aware of the complaint?
- Inform a senior member of your reception team – give him/her a brief summary of what happened. He/she should then speak to the appropriate person often a complaint will come straight through to Management and if they are aware of the complaint it makes it easier to deal with.
DO NOT TAKE THE CALL PERSONALLY – USUALLY A DIFFICULT CALL IS DIRECTED AT THE FIRST PERSON AVAILABLE.