Unfortunately these situations aren’t as rare as we’d like. Another employee now has had to deal with a racist man exploding at him over being from Egypt, and his accent.
There’s little we can do about these people existing and behaving this way. But we can try and help our own employees.
This is the email I typed to my team.
Sometimes we will find ourselves on the phone with a “hot caller”. This may be due to a bad experience, issues with a mailer, previous employee, difficulty understanding, etc. By implementing simple diffusing techniques with empathy and an offer to resolve their situation you can close off callers like this with less difficulty. Some of these customers may even end up being very happy with your service and even order our products despite their initial anger. We will be working on more tools and guidelines to help you learn these techniques.
That being said, remember we don’t require you to take any form of verbal abuse from a customer over the phone. Vulgar language, inappropriate comments or conversation (sexually graphic or otherwise), are all included under this banner.
By following the below steps and warning the customer we can get off these calls much quicker with less trouble, and hopefully less stress for you.
- If a customer expresses concern about something, Examples (Difficulty understanding, bad connection, issues with mailers or another employee). Or if a customer is irate. A simple empathetic statement followed by an offer to resolve can help diffuse the situation.
“I do apologize sir. I will try and speak slower for you so you are more clear.” “I’m sorry you had a bad experience sir, let me see how I can help you better” “I apologize for any inconvenience, let me see what else I can do for you”
- If a customer is inappropriate, vulgar, making fun of your language or accent, insulting, or is screaming at you, Warn the customer about the manner they are speaking to you.
“Unfortunately sir if you keep speaking to me in this manner I will not be able to continue the call. I would like to do everything I can to help you”
- If a customer continues to use vulgarity, inappropriate comments, explicit comments, etc., Do not continue going back and forth as we do not require you to become argumentative or defensive towards the customer. You are now authorized to disconnect the call. Do so after the following statement.
“As advised, due to the manner you are speaking, I will not be disconnecting the call.
No further warning is necessary and you are authorized to disconnect.
Never hesitate to reach out to your supervisor for help. And if you are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated we will assist you. If a customer asks to speak to a supervisor always reach out for assistance as well. And if you feel you need time off the phone to collect yourself feel free to ask! Sometimes these situations can be difficult and your mental health matters!