How to deal with difficult phone calls in three steps

There are many advantages to outsourcing your telephone answering service – from cost savings in staffing, to the peace of mind you’ll gain knowing your customers are speaking to expertly trained professionals.

Frontline has been providing 24/7 customer care services in our contact centres since 1999, empowering our staff to deliver the highest levels of customer service when speaking to your clients, even in difficult situations. Here are 3 of the ways in which our staff have learnt to deal with conversations over the telephone that can be challenging.

1. Using empathy

Encourage telephone answering staff to really try to empathise with the person on the other end of the phone. Do they have a right to be upset? Has the customer dealt with a service that has been unsatisfactory? How would the member of staff feel if they too had experienced the same issue? Trying to step into the shoes of the customer on the phone, understanding the frustrations from their side, and explaining to the customer how you can appreciate why they’re feeling so upset can go a long way in helping to defuse a situation.

2. Always remain calm

When someone is irate or frustrated over the phone, it can be difficult, at times, to remain calm. One of the ways our staff are trained to remain calm is by understanding that the person on the other end of the phone isn’t making a personal attack, but is upset or frustrated at a situation they have had to deal with. Going into a difficult phone call with this rational, objective approach helps our staff to remain professional at all times, even when being challenged by the person on the other end of the phone.

3. Find the root cause

When dealing with a difficult conversation it can be very effective to ask the person on the other end of the phone: ‘could you explain to me exactly what it is you’re frustrated/upset about?’ Firstly it ensures that your customer’s issue can be resolved as quickly and effectively as possible. Secondly, it gives the customer, who is frustrated, an opportunity to think about exactly why they’re upset and often helps them to calm down, as they appreciate their issue is being addressed.

For more information about outsourcing your customer telephone answering service with Frontline and to learn more about how to deal with difficult phone calls, call us today on 01489 866630