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how to deal with ticked off users?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by mallet, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. mallet

    mallet Kilobyte Poster

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    I get this common question thrown at me all the time when people from recruitment agencys offering me a position for a 1st line support role. which is: how do you deal with ticked off users?

    The problem is, I honestly woundt know as most of my roles where building PC's. And this would be my first real attempt over the phone dealing with annoyed users.

    It would also help out other people trying to cross this hurdle as well.


    -Mallet
     
    Certifications: MCP
  2. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I laugh at them. If they get upset, I set them on fire. That usually solves the problem. :devilflam





    (it's a joooooke... :p)
     
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  3. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    In my job I have to deal with people who are pissed of but it is usually face to face. I normally tell them to shut up or I'll kick them in the nuts. :biggrin

    In all seriousness though I have to deal with people who are pissed of face - face or on the phone, the way I get them to calm down is not to raise my voice and talk in a calm manner to them. Sometimes I try to side with them and make a joke of it.

    I can give you an example from last week. The printers were having major problems with the press as it kept on breaking down whilst printing a job, the job had to be in Bromsgrove for 6 in the morning and it was going to be late.

    The director of production for this newspaper phoned and said "what are they bloody playing, why is it gonna be f****** late" and all I said without raising my voice was "dumb overpaid printers, they havent got clue" which lightend the tone of the production managers voice and in turn calmed the situation a bit.
     
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  4. neutralhills

    neutralhills Kilobyte Poster

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    You do everything in your power to fix their problem in a timely and courteous manner. In the event they have a problem that is beyond your capabilities or the scope of your job description, promptly escalate their call to someone who can help them. Make a note, and be sure to follow up on whether or not the person you sent them to dealt with their concerns. If not, follow up on the client's behalf.
     
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  5. NightWalker

    NightWalker Gigabyte Poster

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    I spent nearly two years in a call centre providing first line support to the public. I had at least one ticked off caller a day. The way to deal with it, and the way call centre staff are trained is:

    Remain calm and don’t raise your voice.

    Allow the customer to vent his frustration, tell you how rubbish the service is, tell you he is very upset with it all, why he will never buy from this company again. Just listen, say ‘yes’ now and then so he knows you are listening to what he is saying.

    He will soon run out of steam, then you start talking and empathise with the customer. Say stuff like “I understand your problem and apologise for the trouble you have had.” “I know you would much rather be doing things other than chasing up this issue so I’m going to do my best to sort this out for you as quickly as I can.”

    Help him out, if you cant help him explain why and escalate his call.

    Be efficient and follow up on any promises, to call him back or post out a recovery cd etc.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCP, MCSA:M 2003, ITIL v3 Foundation
  6. Leehaa

    Leehaa Gigabyte Poster

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    Had that one in todays interview.

    Make sure that the user knows that you are taking in what they say - listen, and occasionally repeat what they say back to them to re-inforce that you are taking note. (take notes down) ...and at the end of the conversation - repeat what the issue is back to them as a kind of summary. Give them regular updates - even if it is just - I am still aware of your problem, but unfortunately it's a bit of a tricky one - taking a little while to resolve.

    If they are persistent (like a manager who called me up every hour on the hour yesterday :dry) be firm - in a gentle but firm way make them aware that if they leave you to it, the problem will get resolved a little quicker if s/he leaves you to look into it.
     
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  7. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    These sort of questions (how to deal with clients) are actually covered in the A+ exams. :)

    In truth, a lot of it is common sense. How would you like to be treated when you are experiencing a problem? Treat the customer in the same way. Be courteous, even when they don't deserve it. Be pleasant, even when they are not. Be sympathetic, even if it's the user's own fault. Be attentive and efficient, even when you've got other things going on. Listen to their problem, even if you've "heard it all before". And above all, do everything you possibly can to help the user with their problem or concern. The worst thing you can do is to give the customer the perception (real or imagined) that you are making no effort to help them.

    And if you simply can't help... escalate the call to someone who might be able to help... or at least, provide a different perspective.

    The left button on my Logitech MX700 mouse (I love it) failed a few days ago. Even though it had a five-year warranty on it, I figured it was out of warranty. I called the support number... was placed in the hold queue... and either the phone system or a lazy operator hung up on me. :dry (Guys... if any of you ever end up on a help desk... do NOT do this. It's one of the quickest ways to lose a customer.) I called back and got a tech on the line pretty quickly (NOT outsourced, thank God!). He looked up my warranty status, and saw I was past the five-year mark. He asked if I had the receipt when I purchased it, and I did not. He checked with his supervisor, and discovered that I could send the mouse in and receive a discount on a replacement mouse. I asked him how much it would cost to replace, and he said it would be $30-40. Well... at that price, plus shipping, I can pick up two of them off of eBay. I thanked him for his assistance.

    Did he solve my problem? No. But he tried a couple of different ways to provide me service, even though I was outside of my warranty period. And for that, I am pleased with the service I received (the hang-up notwithstanding). He didn't have to solve the problem... he simply had to do his best to do so.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
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  8. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    not for me.
     
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  9. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Setting them on fire doesn't work for you? :ohmy Try napalm. :twisted:
     
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  10. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    :biggrin. I meant that its not a joke for me.

    Seriously though. In my time on support, I found three things to be almost universally true.

    1. If you are friendly with your customers, they tend to respond a lot better.
    2. Honesty is key. If you dont know, say so. But dont just leave it at that. Say you dont know, but you'll pass it to someone who does, or you will find out and get back to them, etc.
    3. Returning a call is always better than taking their call. When I was on SDesk, I used to get irate customers all the time. Moving up to a position where I was returning the initial call, I found that nine times out of ten, they were a lot calmer and better to deal with.
     
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  11. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    I'd go Binary on they asses.

    "You got two options:
    Option Zero - shut the **** up and go away whilst I concentrate all my energies on fixing your problem.
    Option One - stand there bitching an whinging so that I concentrate all my energies on that - rather than fixing your problem"

    Seriously - I don't know how anyone does first/second line support. I never had a first line role - all my early roles were second line so I never really got the utter 'tards that most first line peeps have to deal with on a regular basis. I would seriously crack some skulls Dr Cox style if I had to put up with some of the **** from the freakshows I've seen support bods have to deal with down the years.
     
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  12. Lev Arris

    Lev Arris Byte Poster

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    For the purpose of interviews I would re-iterate the callcentres I have worked in love the following buzz words:

    Empathy, Para-phrasing, ownership.

    For example and this might be poor but I'm tired:

    I would firstly paraphrase the users issue to make sure that I have clarified there position. I would then empathise with them so they know I understand there issue and the way the feel. I would then seek to resolve the issue and where appropriate take ownership of this so the customer has a direct point of contact and understands someone is concerned and dealing with there issue.

    Thats Phils rough guide to phone interview blurb.
     
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  13. Notes_Bloke

    Notes_Bloke Terabyte Poster

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    Whenever I get asked this on interviews I always use the acronym L.E.A.P:-

    L - Listen
    E- Empathise
    A - Apologise
    P- Plan a course of action to suitable esolution.

    This may/or may not be what happens in real-life but it seems to please the interviewers;)

    HTH
    NB
     
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  14. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    L - Laugh
    E - Embarrass
    A - Answer (sarcastically, if possible)
    P - Payment (demand it!)

    -Nick Burns
     
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  15. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

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    Try not to get angry, slap them!
     
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  16. ManicD

    ManicD Byte Poster

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    The trick is to make sure that they feel like you are personally taking on this problem and wanting to get it sorted. Re-phrase what they say and say it back at them it makes them feel like yoru really taking in what they say.

    basically making them feel listened to and making them feel that you are gonna tak on their problem and sort it as highest priority calms them down.

    if they get abusive towards you, you shoudl ask them once not to do it again, if they do it again, tell them you are hanging up the phone because they are being abusive, and hang up.
     
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  17. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    Real Life:
    A lot of good answers given. I think the best is really using the best judgment for the situation. That means be honest and place yourself in their shoes. Always stay calm as it will kill any shouting sessions from getting out of hand.

    Interview Answer:
    Try Notes_Bloke’s version of that LEAP thing (I’d substitute “Apologise” with Answer). I'd stay away from BM's version unless you're cracking jokes in the interview. :blink
     
  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Humor is a good thing. :thumbleft
     
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  19. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

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    Laugh
    Embarrass
    Annoy
    Provoke
     
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  20. mallet

    mallet Kilobyte Poster

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    Thank you all for very much for the input :)

    some where just too temping to say in real life :biggrin
    I am going over this now and on the weekend just to make sure its set in stone.
    Again, thanks very much for the great lesson learnt.


    -Mallet
     
    Certifications: MCP

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