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When we face a difficult situation many of us immediately have a bad day.
Situations like a little argument with another driver on our way to work, morning dispute with a neighbor or disagreement with our colleague at work raise stress and influence your mood.
How often situations like this happen though? Once a week? Every few days? Not often, but we do ponder on this for days sometimes.
Customer service representatives have the questionable pleasure to face difficult situations each time they come to work. Dealing with irate customers is stressful and emotionally challenging. And that’s why those who don’t have high personal control look like they need a hug sometimes.
Here’s a nice and short anecdote I recently found online that’s on the spot:
"I’m having a very bad day, having dealt with a series of unpleasant customers. I have a half-hearted smile on my face, when a six year old boy walks in. He stares at me for a second, then gives me a hug.
Me: Thanks, but where is your mommy?
Boy: She’ll be here soon.
Me: She might not want you hugging random strangers.
(He shakes his head.)
Boy: Mommy says retail people need more hugs. You looked like you needed one.
The story is heart-warming, unfortunately when it comes to live chat customer service agents, they can’t hope for a hug from a little customer to brighten their day.
Luckily there are other ways to make their work more pleasant, a little bit easier and get an amazing live chat support at the same time.
1. Be nice! Remember there are people on the other side
When you’re talking to a customer service rep for the first time you may feel anonymous. After all, you’re comfortable in your house, people can’t see you and they don’t know anything about you (besides where you from, which site did you came from and all the information you provided in the pre-chat survey). But that doesn’t mean you should make use of that advantage.
When you’re not nice, you can’t expect a customer service rep to flatter you and meet all your requests with a smile on their face. Live chat agents respect themselves and sometimes when a customer goes beyond the line, they can deny providing service. What will you do then?
Think about it. How do you feel when your boss or somebody you don’t know yells at you because you can’t or didn’t do something? It makes you even more stress and less effective. If you really want to get help, try to stay calm. Live chat agents want to provide service in good conditions and you can make it easier for them to do their job and get what you want.
2. Make it easy to understand your message
In an experiment, test participants emailed 10 statements to a recipient. Some statements were serious, some sarcastic. The senders believed the recipient would correctly identify the intended emotion behind most of the messages. In fact, the recipients only identified seriousness or sarcasm 56% of the time.
When the same messages were transmitted through a voice recording, the recipient interpreted the emotion correctly 73% of the time. It’s because vocal tones captured the emotional nuances that emails couldn’t.
We have to keep that in mind, when we talk on chat. Sometimes we are in a hurry and we sound like we give orders to the live chat agents (and mutually). It’s easy to misinterpret these words. So be clear with your messages and make it easier for agents to provide amazing live chat support.
3. Do you really need to talk to a supervisor?
Remember when you were a child and wanted to prove something to your teacher but he or she didn’t want to listen so they said: “I want to talk to your parents.”?
When I was in high school I had this situation when I wanted to pass a really important math exam. Even though I learned every day and had all my study planned, my teacher was certain I don’t have enough knowledge and I will never gonna pass.
When she said she wants my parents to come to school to tell them how much I need to study, I said: “Why would you want to talk my parents about it? They don’t study with me. It’s my responsibility to study not theirs and I know what I have to do to pass it.” When a student responds like that I don’t think there’s a point to talk to the parents. Obviously my mum backed me up and didn’t show up in school. She trusted me.
In customer service it’s the classic scenario when a customer wants to talk to a supervisor, claiming that the agents don’t know what they’re doing. But supervisors trust their agents and know that they try to do their best to get the job done. It’s not like by talking to a supervisor a customer will get more information or a refund. So unless the agents don’t act rude, talking to a supervisor won’t change anything. It will just induce more stress.
Remember that you can always rate an agent after a chat, so it’s their responsibility to give you amazing customer support. Have some trust in them, just like their bosses do.
4. Don’t threaten you leave – they might let you go
In private life, do you think it’s a healthy relationship when something is not right and one person threatens to leave? It’s not. The perfect solution for every difficult situation is when both sides work on what’s not right.
So when you don’t like something in a product or service it’s ok to say it. A smart live chat agent will pass it to the people responsible for potential change.
And if you decide to leave, just do it. You can explain your decision to an agent, but don’t leave any hurt feelings. Who knows, maybe the competition is not that great and you will want to come back in the future. Better don’t burn bridges. In life, at work or on live chat.
It won’t change the service you get. Remember that the agents do their best to provide you with a good service but if you decide to leave, they will let you go. There’s no point in forcing you to stay if you’re not happy. Obviously you can talk to a supervisor in very exceptional cases, but always be nice. You won’t accomplish much by fighting. And certainly not a good service.
Relax and chat
When you get angry while talking on chat and you have thoughts like: "you don’t respect me”, “you don’t know how to treat customers,” before you type them into chat, replace them with “I believe I deserve better service, I’m a loyal customer”, “I’m sure that the customer service representative will try their best to make me a satisfied customer." I guarantee you will relax.
It’s good to see a situation from a different angle. There’s no point in making an enemy of a person that wants to help you. You won’t get a faster service or better help just by showing “who the boss is.” So relax, and let the agents do their job, which is providing you an amazing live chat support. We all want it, trust me.
Here’s a little cheat sheet for customers when using customer service and reactions they should avoid. Feel free to share it or use it on your website.