As a customer service professional, you have a crucial job. You provide the link between your employer and the outside world. The way you treat people influences how the company’s brand is perceived.

That role becomes extremely difficult when you run into an angry customer. You still have to remain professional, even in the face of a barrage of yelling and profanity. How do you stay calm when dealing with hotheads?

It’s important to remember that your performance matters a lot. Studies show that a third of consumers would think about jumping to a competitor due to a single bad customer service experience. At the same time, these disappointed customers will tell an average of 15 people about their negative encounters.

Imagine the ripple impact that causes. Drop your calm demeanor for a moment, and you not only lose one potential customer. There might be 15 others who will think twice about buying your products.

So how do you avoid these nasty encounters? Here are a few customer service tips that will help you keep your cool even when you’re dealing with hotheads:

5 Customer Service Tips for Dealing With Hot Heads

Don’t Escalate

There’s an old expression: don’t start nothin’, there won’t be nothin’. Or we could go with another classic adage: it takes two to tango. Basically, you don’t want to contribute to any heated discussions.

Your customer might get angry and say nasty things to you. They might even threaten you. Whatever happens, don’t snap back. Stay calm and attempt to deescalate the situation.

Become an Ally

When an irate customer contacts you, they probably view you as the enemy. You’re part of the problem…one of “them.”

It’s up to you to turn that around. You want to convert that “them” into an “us.” Let the customer know you are on their side. Communicate that your goal is to work with them to solve the problem.

Use Active Listening

Sometimes the exact problem isn’t apparent. Customers often don’t have the vocabulary to describe their issue. This becomes especially true in highly technical situations. Other times, the heightened emotions make it difficult for the client to communicate effectively at first.

By using active listening skills, you can bridge this gap. Ask lots of questions. Make sure you understand the problem thoroughly so that you can make a good plan to solve it.

Stay Empathetic

You’ve been on the other side of that call. Think about times you’ve had to call customer service for a problem you’ve had. Tap into that memory to put yourself in your customer’s mindset.

This will help you from getting triggered by their anger. You’ll understand it isn’t directed at you personally but at the whole situation. You’ll feel empathy for them and receive additional motivation to find a solution.

Explain Your Plan

Describe to your customer how you plan to help them. Remember: they can’t see what you are doing. They might misinterpret a long silence as you look into their situation or check for a solution.

As you search for a fix, keep them in the loop. Let them know their options and the steps you plan to take to assist them. Politely warn them if you need to place them on hold and explain precisely what they should expect as the next stage in any process.

Looking For a Great New Customer Service Position?

Customer service gets easier when you believe in the company and its products. A top staffing agency, like Hiregy, can find the perfect placement for you.

Contact Hiregy today to link up with the best firms and take your customer service skills to the next level.