How Do You Help Someone Who Seems Like Their Entire Life's Mission Is To Attack You?
In our basket of callers, 95% consists of amazing, phenomenal people we work towards helping. The other 5% of callers need a bit more tender, love and care.
Every company has the few percentage of callers who are ruthless and relentless. Let's just say it... they're scary!
Don't Take It Personal
Naturally, when we are feeling like we are being attacked, we get defensive.
Often times, our attitude is less than par when we start taking the conversation personal. Calls and in-person interactions can get to an escalated point, and it can be challenging to not feel like it's something directed towards you.
In reality, they are not upset with you; they're upset with their concern, so don't take it personal.
Remember that you may not have all the solutions, but you know more than the customer does. Focus your energy on creating solution-building language.
Starting with a positive and open mindset goes a long way! Begin each interaction with the need to be of service to whoever you communicate with.
Know that without a doubt, you have the ability to provide solutions, make a sale and turn a rocky experience around.
Go into every conversation with the best in mind.
For example, if you are expecting a call from a difficult client, take a deep breathe, assume that the conversation will produce positive results and put out sincere positivity. When your mind is in a positive place, your words will follow.
When Nothing Else Works
When you either lost control of the conversation, are frustrated or the caller is rambling about other subjects, place the caller on hold.
Not only will it allow you to gather you thoughts and think of a way to pick up the call with greater control of the conversation, but you will also allow the caller to take a breather.
Think of it as a short time-out. Pick up the call feeling empowered and ready to close the conversation.
For example, yesterday there was a caller whom we'll call Bonnie (not her real name).
From the moment I answered the phone, I could feel Bonnie's wrath. She was sitting on her broomstick with pride, and she was coming for me. I could tell.
After answering the only question she had, I asked if there was anything else I could help her with. She responds, "I'm asking the questions here. Why are you responding to me with a question?" She had never talked to me or anyone in the company before, so I knew from the very beginning to not take it personal and to try to help her as best as I could.
I then apologized, and she proceeded to insult me.
After being insulted multiple times by Bonnie, and her refusing to tell me what I could help her with, I politely transferred her over to my manager who she proceeded to bad-mouth and hung up on.
You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped, but you can certainly try.