In business and life, conflict is inevitable. The key to success is learning how to effectively handle conflict. If you don’t adequately address and resolve issues as they arise, they can negatively impact customer retention, loyalty, and your reputation.
Most conflicts can be resolved in their earliest stages.
Here are 12 conflict resolution tips for achieving excellent customer service. These tips will help businesses quickly resolve conflicts before they interfere with customer relationships.
Number One: Allow customers to talk.
Allow angry customers to talk and express their feelings until they release their frustrations and calm down.
Number Two: Show you care.
Employee empathy to shows you understand the customer’s feelings and frustrations.
Number Three: Use the correct tone.
Don’t smile, laugh or mock upset customers. Convey empathy and a soft tone.
Number Four: Be neutral.
Do not offer your opinion, agree or disagree with customers. Offer empathetic support and work to solve their problems effectively.
Number Five: Don’t react.
Never respond to angry comments. Allow the customer to voice their opinion and interject with helpful redirection when appropriate.
Number Six: Focus.
When a customer begins to go off on a tangent, redirect the conversation back to the important issues and focus their attention on constructive solutions to their problem.
Number Seven: Use verbal softeners.
Use words like …“likely, “typically, “perhaps, “sometimes,” “possibly” and “occasionally” with customers who might not respond well to categorical words like “always” or “never.”
Number Eight: Make angry conversations private.
Avoid talking with angry customers within earshot of employees or other customers.
Number Nine: Agree.
Find something to agree with the customer about. An argument will result in ultimate combustion. But an agreement will result in collaboration and cooperation.
Number Ten: Use silences.
When customers talk, listen and wait for a silence. After your customer has stopped talking, summarize their main point and work together on a solution.
Number 11: Use timeouts.
If a customer is frustrated, annoyed and not capable of engaging in productive conversation, allow them the opportunity to think by themselves. After a pause, address their concerns effectively.
Number 12: Set limits.
When customers refuse to act constructively and alternative methods have been exhausted, set limits and end the interaction. To build healthier business relations, it is important to manage customer expectations and take the necessary steps to avoid arguments, disputes and other forms of conflict.
While conflict is inevitable, having a poor communication system is NOT.
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