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Dealing with Irate Customers the Filipino Way

Feb 1, 2008
Thomas, a call center agent in Manila greeted the customer and he was greeted back with a shout from the customer: Ive been ten minutes on the phone and I have an urgent concern! (curse!) I dont like your product!

For a seasoned agent in the call center industry, such an incident is already commonplace. Even the best of products and services may experience occasional problems and glitches. As such, it would be important to get the assistance of customer service. Thomas and a whole lot of Filipino call center agents deal with irate and rude customers on a daily basis. It is stressful work and sometimes, it drains the energies away. Yet, agents could not and should never quench fire with fire. Instead, Philippine call center agents use their natural penchant for hospitality and accommodating character to help an irate customer.

Irate customers do not become irate over nothing. Somebody could have promised them that they would get a promo but they did not. Perhaps, they were told their application was approved but it was not. Or perhaps, a customer service officer said he will solve the customers problem but the problem persists. In all of these cases, the customer has every right to be angry. Given this scenario, how do Philippine call center agents deal with it?

Philippine call center agents are trained to deal with these incidents. Call centers do recognize that problems occur and that people can get upset over a service interruption or mismatched expectations. When Filipino call center agents experience this, they usually rely on their training to get things done. They also have checklists on their work stations so that they would know how to deal with a particular issue raised by a customer.

In dealing with an irate customer, it is important to listen carefully to what they are saying. As such, Philippine call center agents rely upon their training to listen carefully to the customers. They are also trained to look beyond the curses or the tone of voice used by the customer to ensure that their concern is properly diagnosed and the right solution to the problem is presented to the customer.

After listening carefully to the customer, the agent takes a look at the different processes in resolving the issue raised by the customer. The categories of problems are usually enumerated in a ready reference that can be used by agents. It is just a matter of finding the right manual or the right information that should be presented to the customer.

As soon as the agent understood the problem, he carefully and patiently explains to the customer what happened. This is then accompanied with an apology or a compensation for the inconvenience.

After explaining the problem, the agent then explains to the customer the action items needed to be done in order to correct the situation. He then makes the necessary requests or coordination to make sure that the problem is solved. Philippine call center agents, by their culture and very nature, are helpful and patient even for customers that are irate.
About the Author
James Stinson is Owner and Founder of Global Sky Inc. He employs a team of 50 in a high quality call center facility based in the Philippines. For more info on outsourcing your project visit: http://www.global-sky.com
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