Customer Experience News & Trends

Stay calm and move along: Key to handling negativity

When a customer or co-worker loses his cool — and blows up on you — follow these steps to stay calm and move things along.

Unfortunately, some people let their emotions get the best of them in less-than-ideal circumstances. That’s when contact center agents can show their best side and defuse situations with customers and co-workers.

These tips will help in potentially volatile situations:

  • Take a breather. If you can delay the conversation for a few minutes, suggest you both take a break and get back together shortly. Then take a quick walk outside. If you can’t pause that long, say, “Please give me a moment to think about this.” Then take a moment to collect your thoughts and decide where the conversation should go next.
  • Ask the person to reconsider. Many people don’t realize they’re acting irrationally in the thick of things. So ask, “Is this how you really want this conversation to go?” or “Is this how you want to handle this?” If the person says yes, suggest talking later. If he says no, the conversation will take a calmer tone.
  • Ignore it. You don’t want to ignore the issue, but do ignore the underlying attitude. Move on to solutions, forgetting about the tone the customer or co-worker uses.

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