If you are in the customer service industry, then chances are you have experienced some degree of customer dissatisfaction. This can range from the expected irritation during a difficult transaction, to full-out blow-ups and unacceptable behaviour.
It is essential for any organisation or business to have strategies in place to ensure that dissatisfied customers are managed effectively, and with minimal disruption. One very effective strategy is using de-escalation techniques.
What are De-escalation Skills?
De-escalation is a set of communication strategies designed to prevent volatile situations from escalating further. It will help you to manage your own wellbeing, help your customer to feel heard, and restore workplace harmony.
De-escalation techniques are used to bring about resolution to conflicts when tensions are running high. It involves listening, validating, and responding to the needs of your customer in a calm and non-threatening manner.
What are the Benefits of Building De-escalation Skills
Having the necessary knowledge of and skills for de-escalation is an invaluable asset in managing customer dissatisfaction.
- Training staff to recognise and respond appropriately to signs of customer anger or frustration will help defuse potentially explosive situations.
- Training employees in de-escalation skills allows organisations to identify customer needs and concerns before things get out of hand.
- Quick and safe way to resolve issues, whilst avoiding misunderstandings or escalating matters further.
- Build stronger relationships with customers.
- Customer satisfaction can be maintained while your organisation benefits from improved customer loyalty and trust.
Utilising De-escalation Techniques to Manage Customer Dissatisfaction
So understanding the theory is one thing, but how do you implement de-escalation techniques in customer dissatisfaction?
- The first step is to focus on understanding the situation. This means paying attention to customer body language and carefully listening to what they have to say. At the same time, it is important to remain conscious of your own body language and choice of words. Openness and honesty can go a long way in calming an agitated customer and showing them that you are taking their concerns seriously.
- Another key element is to offer empathy. Acknowledge the customer’s emotions and restate their issues back to them in an understanding and non-confrontational manner. Showing that you understand their point of view and care about their experience can help to put the customer at ease.
- Finally, provide solutions. The aim is to work together to come up with a solution that works for all parties involved. This might be providing the customer with alternatives, such as a refund, a discount or extra services. If there is nothing that can be done, then it is important to explain this in a way that the customer can accept.
Having a clear understanding of how to manage dissatisfied customers is essential for any business. Using de-escalation techniques can be very beneficial when it comes to diffusing tense situations and restoring relationships with customers quickly and effectively.
If you are interested to know more, contact me, Ava Lucanus. With over 25 years of experience in Customer Service Training, I have worked with many businesses and thousands of their employees to improve their customer service standards.