Customer success plays a vital role in a successful business

Being in a difficult situation or a confrontational one is not something people enjoy, but if it’s part of your job it forms part of your function in a company. The way you handle a situation is a direct reflection on the company you represent.

Working in the customer service industry can be a nerve-wracking experience, customers complain and can even get abusive. As professionals, we need to learn to accept our role in this process and be more accommodating to our customers. A rule of thumb in customer success is that your customer is king. The problem comes in when your customer is wrong, they have insulted you, filed a complaint or even misused the product.

Dealing with an angry client on the phone who is irate and complaining or even shouting at you can be an overwhelming experience. My advice in a situation like this would be to hear your customer out and ask what’s wrong because they may have a valid complaint. Remember that the complaint is not an attack on your personally, rather the product or function of the product. Always show empathy towards your customer and their problem, even if it’s difficult. Your customers are the people that ensure you receive a salary at the end of the month.

Grant your customer the professional courtesy of listening to their story because it can be extremely frustrating to have a consultant brush off your complaint. I have experienced this firsthand when I had a legitimate complaint and the employee hung up on me, intentionally. Some service hotlines use software that will cut a caller off after a certain amount of time, regardless of whether the problem has been resolved. The software is installed to keep handling times low so that agents can take more calls.

Bare in mind that this is not always the case, an employee may not be committed to fulfilling their task. Sitting in an office for eight hours can take its toll on anyone, but this is where recruitment selection plays an important role in a company. Recruitment selection can indirectly disclose the company’s culture.

These situations reveal a great deal about companies themselves that don’t have a customer centric attitude. A reason for this is that the company may be too confident about their market share or they are oblivious to their customer’s needs. This manifests in bad call centers that use antiquated technologies or employ disengaged staff for low wages. It is all about bumps in seats or as I call it, high volume, low margin.

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