One of the most important obligations for customer support is to ensure that customers are satisfied. Being able to help an angry or frustrated customer and keep him as a customer is both a skill and a gift. Tactics for dealing with an upset customer over the phone is something that can be taught. Possessing this skill will help make you a very valuable employee in the call center.
Here's how to handle an irate customer on the phone.
Listen, listen, and listen.
Let the angry customer talk through his/her problems and get it all out of their system. This step is important because the more time a customer spends airing his reasons for complaining, the more time he has to calm down.
Allow the client to express his opinions.
Do not yell or curse at the customer. Do not, however, allow the client to be abusive toward you.
Maintain your personal integrity at all times. If the customer is abusive, say calmly "I understand you are frustrated, and I want to help you, but let's remain professional." Or if the customer goes on and on you can simply say "if you continue to talk to me in this manner then I am afraid I won't be able to help you with the query" and still the customer talks in the same tone you can cut off the line.
Make sure the customer knows that you understand his frustration and acknowledge the mistake that has been made. Recognize the customer's feelings about the mistake - how it must have felt to be the customer in this situation.
Listen actively. Restate the customer's complaint, "reflecting" his or her feelings back to him or her. That will let him/her know you are listening and that you understand his or her feelings.
After he completes his story, ask about the facts and details of the matter at hand. Move into problem solution mode -- know when to ask open-ended questions, when to stick with "yes" or "no" questions.
Let the customer know you are sorry they have had a tough time (even if it's not really your company's fault - many times, an irate customer just wants to know someone cares that s/he is inconvenienced). A simple, "I'm so sorry this happened" will do. If you find that your company is at fault, definitely apologize again. Be sure to be sincere.
Offer to try to fix the problem.
Imagine that this was happening to you, and what you'd want done.
Ask what will make the client happy.
If he is without any ideas, recommend some. Have the client agree to a possible solution to the matter. He will be happier if he feels he had some say in how his complaint will be handled.
Restate again every change you've made, and every new charge/adjustment you've made.
Write a clear, concise log of the incident so the rest of your staff is prepared in case there is follow-up needed. What would you want to find in the notes if this customer called back?