People give the term “manipulate” a bad rap. Sure, sure the choir boy will persuade or convince, but leave manipulating for the con-men. I dare say, I doth protest. Manipulation differs from the two because it denies the objects conscious agency in the matter, and people don’t like this. The admission of “Oh, he persuaded me” has the hint that the speaker ultimately has the final decision, but in reality they often don’t – especially if they’re alight with emotion. You, my dear friend, will gently be convincing no one of anything, but instead be dealing with them as the mathematician twirls his numbers when it comes to providing stellar customer service – even with the most difficult customers. Especially in call center management positions, it’s important to know how to deal with escalated calls that go beyond the normal scope of upset. Here are my favorite six tips for doing just that.
Realize That Emotions Are Never, Ever, Never, Ever Wrong!
Whether it’s your significant other or your significant mother, a storm is a storm and a fire is fire. But the logic – what about the bad logic?! Give me any, I say ANY, emotion/scenario and I will craft you valid logic behind its existence. The frequently unconscious logic chosen by people that constructs an emotion is so complex and deeply rooted going there to fix the problem is like trying to put out a fire by telling the homeowner he shouldn’t have left the stove on because A. Maybe he was tired after sitting up with his dying wife for three days so cut him some slack and B. FIRE!
Validate That Logic!
What this means is to agree with the logical route their amygdale has acted upon. Do so implicitly with a display of your emotion (I’m angry with [not at] you) and through your verbiage. He’s angry at his cable – you’re angry at his cable. He hates the way your menus are organized – that’s just what you were going to say! Use with caution of course – there’s a few things you wouldn’t want to be heard saying/ agreeing with.
Distract, You Ninja Magician!
Three questions, when properly placed, will ease at least some of the tension inside your customer. Question number one: what color was your childhood bike? Question two: What is your all time favorite candy? Question three: what would your weapon of choice be in a zombie apocalypse? You tell them it’s for a poll or survey or something like that and they usually buy it. Why? Because everyone likes talking about these three things and people like talking about what they like talking about (even when their computer doesn’t work).
Better brain waves, more oxygen, less cortisol, more creativity, better ability to size up what’s going on. When you consciously cause your lungs to breathe slowly and deeply, you are telling your body that you’re in safe mode, that nothing can hurt you, and your thinking and actions tend to follow suit. Think opposite of a panic attack. (Note that you can still fake being angry during this)
Sit Like A King!
Going along with the last one slightly: when you sit with powerful posture, aka anything that makes air flow better to your lungs (and conversely make you more vulnerable [exposed neck and chest]), you deal with the customer better because you give off the vibe that “yes, you are powerful and are going to be able to fix this. Maybe not sit like this all the time because you get sore.
Stress Balls Exist For A Reason – For Stress!
When you. Just. Can’t. Take. It. Anymore. take that ball and squeeze it with as many muscles as you can. The clenching sends testosterone and releases physical and psychological tension. Be sure to hide your grunts from the caller though.