- Stay calm
In some cases, a customer may be visibly distressed or angry. Despite their demeanor, use a smile and body language, such as eye contact and an outreached hand for a handshake, to show that you are open to this interaction and invested in solving their concerns.
Even while communicating with clients over the phone, smiling conveys warmth in your voice although they can’t see you. Using a low tone of voice might induce the speaker to also lower their pitch and volume.
Shift your mindset
It might be natural to think to yourself that the situation is not your fault. However, the success of this interaction hinges largely on you not taking the customer’s anger personally. This can be done by switching from a mindset of finding blame (what or who caused this problem to happen) to a mindset where the goal is to find a solution. Saying something like, “Let’s see how I can help,” is a good way to signal this mindset. It also helps you handle the situation with less stress to yourself.
Acknowledge their distress
The first thing the customer is looking for from you is a recognition that something has happened to upset them. You can acknowledge their feelings without accepting blame by saying something such as, “I can see you’re upset, and I’m so sorry.”
Telling the customer your name and learning theirs may naturally place the interaction on a more cordial footing. Ask the customer their name, and then use it throughout and often during your conversation. This makes the interaction more personal and lets the customer know you care specifically about them rather than if you use a formal title such as “sir” or “ma’am.” For example, “Mrs. Walters, I see here that you placed the order on May 5?” or “Let’s see how many items were in your cart, Lester.”
Learn about the person you are talking to
Understanding details about your customer, such as the extent of their knowledge on the subject, their age or their background, can help you connect with them and ease the interaction onto a friendlier plane. You can also tailor your conversation to be more useful. Some of this information can be deduced from information you may already have on file, but you can ask cordial questions to ascertain other details.