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    4 Ways to Handle Difficult Customer Service Situations

    Communication mistakes

    When customer service is at the center of your job, you are bound to encounter a few uncomfortable and difficult customer service situations. Good companies realize that excellent service can’t be derived from a script. But just like best practices for a business, there are best responses to 4 common customer service scenarios as suggested by Help Scout.

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    Difficult Customer Service Situation #1: When an Item is Unavailable

    Despite the company’s best attempts, sometimes there are hiccups in inventory flow and products become unavailable. When this happens, use positive language. Positive language places focus on solutions. Here is an example:

    Negative Language: “We don’t have that item. It won’t be available until next week.”
    Positive Language: “I have some great news. That item will be available next week.”

    Difficult Customer Service Situation #2: When Transferring a Customer

    It is important to transfer the customer quickly to a department or person who can solve the customer’s issue. And be sure to explain why you are transferring them so they don’t feel dismissed.

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    Difficult Customer Service Situation #3: When You Don’t Have a Clue

    There will inevitably be a problem or question that you don’t know the answer to. When this happens, place emphasis on finding the answer. For example:

    Customer: “Does the Deluxe package come with _____?”
    Agent: “Great question. Let me find that out for you.”

    Difficult Customer Service Situation #4: Angry Customer

    When you encounter an angry customer, it is vital that you stay calm.

    • Apologize and Accept Responsibility. Even if you don’t believe the company is at fault.
    • Sympathize. This will show the customer that you take their issue seriously.
    • Assist. Generally it is simple to fix the actual problem. But make sure to fix the ‘emotional’ problem by calming the customer down and ensuring they leave happy.