I wish that I could say that there isn’t any such thing as irrational customers, but the reality is that there is.  Sometimes we take the phone call of the upset customer, and sometimes we are the upset customer.  It goes both ways.  As it relates to the topic at hand today, we will focus on the irrational customer that is calling in for technical support.  The emphasis is on the enterprise support center technician supporting the person that is just trying to do their job for your organization.

So, what do you do when any user in your enterprise calls, yelling and upset with their computer issue at hand?  Would you become defensive, or even hang up?  While it may be tempting, I can assure you that this is not the appropriate response.

So what to do?

Well first keep in mind that as the person answering the phones you hold the reputation of the company you work for in your hands.  If you have a great support team that is empowered to support their customers, then the business reputation will suffer.  Here are the top 5 tips you need to follow when dealing with Irrational Customers.

  1. Everyone is your customer, well almost everyone! Remember that anyone in your organization that requires technical support is your customer.  Yes, even your co-worker who needs support is your customer.  There is nothing worse than a rude co-worker when the team should be supporting each other.
  2. Stay Calm – even if you are being screamed at. Don’t argue with customers when they are angry or complaining.  If you get angry back, you have lost control of yourself and the situation.  This doesn’t lead to good outcomes.  Staying calm goes a long way to the tension that surrounds the issue at hand.
  3. Listen to everything the customer is saying – Don’t cut them off or just start rattling off recommendations first. Tune into them.  They want to be listened to, empathized with and acknowledged.    Eye contact and attentiveness are key.
  4. Show the customer you care – Ask them questions to get a better understanding of the issue.
  5. Solve the problem – Do everything in your power to solve the problem, but if you cannot do so quickly then know when to ask for help. Engaging another co-worker to resolve the issue can go a long way for the success of problem resolution.

Sounds simple

So dealing with Irrational Customers sounds simple right, but can often be easier said than done once you are deep into a tough situation.  Keep these concepts in mind and practice them often.  They will ensure that not only will you look good, but so will the organization you work for.

Cheers to the best of all support calls.

Supporting information:  I also recently did a Pluralsight course on call monitoring  This can be found here.  Enjoy!