Five Techniques for Handling Difficult Phone Callers

As a salesperson or customer service representative, dealing with challenging phone customers is the most stressful experience. Even if you have years of experience, being angry or yelled at by someone can spoil your entire day. Fortunately, there are abilities you can master that will simplify these calls and even enable you to successfully deescalate the situation.


Never React


When talking on the phone with someone who is irate or demanding, it is never a good idea to adopt their attitude. Reacting and adopting their attitude is likely to make things more challenging and intensify the situation rather than provide you with genuine gratification or resolve any of the problems. Even if you want to yell back at them, remain calm and polite when you sense that they are getting more aggressive. The most beneficial thing you can do in the heat of the moment is maintain your composure and refrain from responding. Once you are off the phone, you can vent to your coworkers.


Make Sense of Their Feelings


People can become agitated when speaking with agents on the phone because they believe they are not being heard or taken seriously. The tension can be greatly reduced by validating their emotions and admitting that a situation might be challenging or irritating. Validation merely indicates that you are acknowledging them without necessarily agreeing with them. If you give a tough phone customer time to express their feelings instead of ignoring them, you can completely deflate their enthusiasm.


Think About the Big Issues


It can be difficult for folks to stop once they begin going, especially while talking on the phone. From what is vital and where you can truly contribute, it might quickly deviate. Instead of pursuing every issue they raise and attempting to address every issue they may be concerned about, pick one issue and concentrate on it. Start with the major problem, which is typically whatever triggered their first annoyance. Because you don’t want to make things worse, this does involve some active listening and verbal ability, but with practice, you can keep them on course.


Provide the Right Solutions


There will be some issues that phone consumers raise that you won’t be able to resolve, no matter how much they want you to. Sometimes people have high expectations or ask for things that aren’t feasible because they don’t grasp what they’re asking for. Give them viable solutions to their primary problems instead of justifying why you are unable to grant their wishes. It can be more beneficial to concentrate on what you can do to assist them than on what you can’t. Additionally, it switches the topic of the conversation to something more constructive, which helps to ease the tension.


Keep to the script


Phone scripts are tremendously useful for navigating any phone call, but they are especially crucial when dealing with challenging callers. The purpose of phone scripts is to provide you with the resources you need to handle various inquiries you may receive, the information you must provide, and the solutions you can provide. These scripts can help you avoid promising things that the company doesn’t deliver or that aren’t appropriate for the circumstance when you find yourself in a difficult conversation by not just providing you with the answers you need. Even if you are anxious, you will be able to handle the situation because you will have a resource in front of you that will provide you with the cues you need and let you know when it is too much for you to handle and you need to call in reinforcements.


You must exercise these abilities on all of your calls in order to build them gradually so that you are prepared for the challenging ones. When there are fewer calls, you can even role-play challenging situations with your coworkers to make sure you’re ready in advance.

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