Developing a Learning Culture

How Better Customer Service Training Turns Angry Customers into Brand Ambassadors

Any customer-facing organization understands that it’s fairly impossible to keep everyone happy, all the time. Even companies known for their excellent customer service training and experience are bound to have some users with complaints, and those complaints can reverberate through social media and sully your reputation.

So, what’s the average organization to do? First, know that it’s par for the course. But second (and most importantly), it’s the ideal opportunity to become the best in customer service and limit irate customers in the future. The right training can definitely make all the difference, especially when turning the angry customer into one that not only loves your organization, but is willing to recommend it to others. Here’s how.

Shaky Experiences are Springboards

Did a customer totally put your company on blast? Your knee jerk reaction might be to brush it off, but you’re missing a great training experience for your customer service team. Instead of letting it rattle you, stop and take the time to use a negative experience as a springboard for improvement. What were the core reasons the customer was dissatisfied? How should customer service agents respond to an angry customer? Recording calls and utilizing them as training tools can help prevent similar scenarios in the future. The calls an later be implemented into onboarding training modules for your customer service team to prepare them for how to effectively handle these uncomfortable conversations from the start.

Saying More than Just Sorry

We know that in customer service, the customer is always right–which often means apologizing profusely when someone isn’t happy with their product or service. But effective customer service training should teach that it’s more about just saying sorry. It’s about communicating understanding to the upset customer, initiating listening in order to hear what they are actually upset over, and offering a solution in order to save the experience and encourage repeat business.

Prove that you value the customer-business relationship by offering more than just an empty apology. What can you do to make up for an angry customer or client? Make it right and you’ll have a better chance of saving that relationship.

Collaborating with Customers

Sometimes, an angry customer is one that is more mistrustful than irate. Customers trust you with their business and their money, so when that trust is violated, it can make customers feel vulnerable. Instead, a customer wants to feel as if their trust is well-placed, and one of the best ways to do that is to turn the customer service experience into a collaborative one.

By including customers in decision-making and letting their voices be heard, they suddenly stop being victims of circumstances but active team players in the customer service process.

This is where soft skills training for your customer service training becomes crucial. Provide your team training on offering choices to rectify a negative experience or how to spend some time empathizing (and even agreeing) with complaints. You will teach customer service agents to both build and regain trust and collaborate to create loyal clients.

No one likes to hear that their customer service is failing, much less see it via well-publicized Twitter rant. But there’s no growth without conflict, and an angry customer might be the ideal opportunity to give your training a tune-up. Think beyond the canned responses and you could turn a detractor into one of your most valuable cheerleaders.