Turn It Around: 3 Ways to Handle a Customer Who Feels Ignored

Business.com / Customers / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

When customers let a business know that problems exist, they offer that business an opportunity to win their long-term loyalty.

No business will reach success without at least one dissatisfied customer.

Often those customers come in groups, especially if a business has a short-term issue it needs to work out.

When customers let a business know that problems exist, those customers actually offer that business an opportunity to win their long-term loyalty.

Unfortunately, not every business owner is equipped to handle customer complaints.

Even with a talented customer support staff, a business may find at least a few customers who feel as though their complaints have been ignored.

Related Article: The Evolution of Online Customer Service: Where We Are Now?

If they continue to feel that way, anger may drive them to leave extremely negative reviews online, tell their friends, or make calls up the chain until they reach someone who listens.

To prevent this type of situation from damaging your business’s hard-earned reputation, here are a few things you can do.

Listen and Empathize

The best way to handle an upset customer is to avoid it happening in the first place. When your best efforts fail to satisfy a customer, however, it’s important that customer service representatives understand what that customer wants from the call.

First and foremost, a customer wants to be heard. This can be done through using empathetic language and waiting patiently through customer rants.

Interrupting or cutting customers off can easily cause the situation to escalate.

When a customer calls customer service, that customer wants the complaint to be heard, taken seriously and resolved.

If a customer feels ignored, it may be due to having expressed concerns to someone else and not finding resolution. This puts the customer service representative in the position of repairing someone else’s damage.

It’s important to apologize for the previous slight and let the customer know that the transgression was noted and the employee will be reported.

Involve a Supervisor

In some cases, nothing a customer service representative can do will help matters. When a representative has given full effort and the person is still angry or feeling unheard, it may be time to escalate the call to a supervisor with more experience in calming hostile customers.

Businesses should have someone in place who can step in and resolve seemingly unresolvable situations or, at the very least, give the customer the satisfaction of feeling as though the incident has been put in the hands of someone who can take action to discipline any employees who may be at fault.

Related Article: Customer Service Crimes: This Is Why Your Business Is Failing

Before putting a customer on hold, it’s important to make it clear that you’re doing so to transfer the call to a supervisor. Let the customer know that if the call disconnects, you will pass the phone number on and have the supervisor call back.

Businesses should make sure supervisors prioritize these calls and are always available to step in when a call needs to be escalated.

Monitor and Analyze

If you don’t know how your customer service team is performing, you may find your sales dropping without knowing the reason.

There are tools available that will track every ticket, allowing staff to escalate and reassign tickets along with comments.

Automatically escalating tickets if a customer has received no resolution within so many hours can help prevent a large number of cases where customers feel ignored.

As you’re monitoring, pay close attention to the resolutions being offered to unhappy customers. Require representatives to log the results of every call upon closing and enforce this requirement for representatives that close tickets without enough details.

Over time, you’ll likely identify ways your team can better resolve issues with your customers, whether it’s offering free products or giving a full refund.

Related Article: Find Your Biggest Customer Service Opportunities in These 3 Places

Businesses face the daily challenge of remaining true to a vision while also making sure all of their customers are happy.

With the right training, talent, and tools, businesses can increase customer satisfaction and keep sales high.

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