Customer Experience News & Trends

TMI! What to do when customers want to tell too much

You want to build rapport, but some customers take it too far – blabbing on about personal problems and nasty rumors. What do you do then?

When a conversation goes astray and into a gray area, agents want to try one of these tactics for getting back on the right track:

  • Sound disinterested. Avoid giving the verbal cues you’re so used to giving – “uh-ha,” “yes,” “go on,” etc. When customers slow down, quickly change the subject to something work-related.
  • Set boundaries. If the hint doesn’t work, you might have to tell overly chatty customers that you don’t have interest in the topic. A polite way to handle this is to say, “I’m sorry, but this is something I’d rather not discuss right now.”
  • Restrict your availability. If customers persist with unpleasant conversations, make yourself less available to chat. Tell them that you’ll have to look up information in regards to the business matter. End the conversation and leave a voice mail message when you know they won’t be available. When you must return calls, make them just before lunch or the end of the day when everyone is eager to move on.

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