This blog comes to us from Incept Saves Coach Jordan Roman.
Hello, my name is Jordan Roman. I call for Incept‘s Blood Bank division (Incept Saves) and have been doing so for about eight months now. The one thing I’ve had the hardest time getting used to and handling is the upset and/or angry donor. This can be one of the more uncomfortable situations to deal with, but mastering the skill of calming down a donor will greatly benefit any Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME) and, furthermore, anybody in customer service. So let’s get into it.
One thing I cannot stress enough is that the old saying is proven to be true. It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it. Staying calm and neutral in an upset donor situation is key. Use a professional vocabulary, and be as informative as possible. Use a slow, calm voice in response to donor concerns. Another important thing to remember is that you have to care. Show these donors you really feel for them and understand their problem. Let them know you are only here to accommodate the best that you can.
Identify the Problem
The first step in dealing with an angry donor is to identify the problem and the origin of the donor’s rage against you or the client you represent. More times than not, the predominantly voiced concern is not usually the reason the donor is angry. This is cause for one to delve deeper with probing questions. For example, if the donor rages on about call frequency or getting the calls in general, find out why the don’t want the calls. It is possible that the donor cannot donate due to a medical deferral that has been constantly miscoded.
This will lead to copious calls with an upset donor. I find the more we call these donors, the less information we receive from them, because most of the call consists of them wanting to be removed from our calling list. Information is power and the more we can get the better we can update records to not be called (if we should not call them).
Once you have undoubtedly discovered a donor concern the next step is to act as the doctor and remedy the situation. Let the donor know you will update their profile with this more detailed information. If they do have a medical deferral that has been miscoded, remember to get a date if the program allows. If they’d like to be removed from the calling list, do it the right way. Explain that it may take up to 72 hours to take effect. Again, try to be as informative, professional, and neutral as possible.
Last but not least, remember to close sincerely. Bad food always has negative comments regarding its aftertaste. We don’t want to be bad food. You want to leave the donor (or customer) with the idea that no matter how mad they get at us or how much they refuse to donate, we still always appreciate their past support. You wouldn’t believe how closing positively can benefit CMEs and the clients they call for.
Consider this example:
I took an inbound call a few months ago. The caller stated she felt bad for being completely rude to one of my coworkers who had called her earlier that day. However, since the girl was so polite to her and very genuine about helping her in any way possible, she scheduled an appointment with me and scheduled four of her friends as well.
That is, by far, the best example of success through sincerity.
Of course, by nature, our occupation will put us in the handsets and cell phones of unwilling and angry donors. Knowing this, being an expert in diffusing these volatile situations, and turning them into results is a must in the CME toolkit (and for anyone else in the customer service industry, for that matter).
What other tips do you have on dealing with customer call escalations in positive ways?
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