Like most customer service based industries, organizations selling Pull Tabs often have to handle situations involving upset or angry customers. The trick to handling these situations successfully is employee training on how to defuse angry or unruly Pull Tab players. All workers should be trained to handle uncomfortable situations. Training on how to defuse angry customers before it happens will make sure your workers know how to handle these situations quickly and without incident. Conflict management training will protect your Pull Tab operation in the long term and can even help workers with their interpersonal communications.
The Benefits of Knowing How to Diffuse a Situation with an Angry Player
As anyone who has sold Pull Tabs can tell you, it’s not IF a customer will ever get angry, but WHEN a customer will get angry. Customers often play Pull Tabs as a form of entertainment. More important than the Pull Tabs you sell is the person selling them. Market research has shown that organizations that focus on both the quality of their Pull Tabs and their customer service do 95% better than organizations that focus on Pull Tab quality alone. Train your workers on all manners of customer service, including how to diffuse a situation with an unhappy customer.
Remaining calm during a conflict is the most important training for your workers. Responding to a customer aggressively, in anger, with resentment or rudeness will only escalate the situation. The goal of any conflict management is to always begin by deescalating the situation. It does not matter who is right or wrong, if a customer perceives an aggressive response they will only become angrier. Train your workers to never take feedback personally. Stay calm and composed as you let the customer vent all of their issues. The first part of any resolution is making sure the other person feels you understand what they are trying to say. Letting an unhappy or angry customer explain themselves and feel you are truly listening is the first step to resolving any conflict.
Most customers just want to feel like they have been heard. Calling someone “sir” or “Ma’am” might be polite, but these names are formal and may make your customer feel even less understood. Get to know the name of your unhappy customer. Calling them by their first name will make the customer start to feel heard and understood. Calling them by their first name will also help to build rapport between you and the customer. This rapport can help ease the conversation through to a resolution.
Listening with intention to an angry or upset customer without interrupting is a great way to make sure a customer feels heard. Not interrupting will also give you an opportunity to fully understand the problem to make sure you come to the right solution. The goal of all customer service is to make sure customers feel important and leave satisfied. To do this you must first know what the customer wants. If you interrupt an upset customer while they are talking the customer will feel ununderstood and unimportant which will likely lead to further anger.
A common complaint from Pull Tab players that it is taking too long to get their Pull Tabs. In these situations, the customer does not want to hear how busy your worker is or how many people are here. While possibly true, these kind of responses can lead to the customer feeling even less important. Instead, offer to get them a free coffee or give them a small discount on some merchandise. What the customer really cares about is feeling taken care of. By responding with a solution, no matter how small, it tells your customer that you care about them and take their happiness seriously. An explanation should only be offered in the most serious situations and only when it adds to the resolution.
When communicating with an unhappy or angry customer staying calm, listening, and providing solutions are critical steps in resolving the situation. The final tool, the ultimate way to make a player feel understood, is an apology. One straightforward, clear apology is enough to satisfy the average unhappy customer and resolve the situation. This does not need to be a weepy, long winded speech, just a simple, straightforward apology. By apologizing to the customer, you are showing them respect and making them feel understood. You should train your workers to expect and resolve customer complaints. Always emphasize the importance of showing respect to an unhappy customer, no matter what the complaint may be. Unhappy customers can simply be having a bad day. By showing them respect you can not only diffuse a a high pressure situation, but you might even build new customer loyalty because the customer feels you care about them. By training your workers how to handle angry customers before it happens you begin to mentally prepare them to be cool under pressure when confronted with an angry customer.
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