If you have difficulty thinking quickly on your feet, customer complaints probably catch you off-guard, making you feel uncomfortable and unprepared. Don’t let that happen; stage a dress rehearsal and prepare yourself to handle any customer conflict.
Whether you’re a customer service rep or manager, you can get started with real-world communication and conflict training.
How? Engage customer service representatives in role-playing and modeling activities that simulate difficult customer interactions to develop their negotiation and diplomacy skills.
Begin the training by presenting the rationale for communicating something in a certain way, so customer service reps understand the theory behind what you’re asking them to do.
For example: If you’ve recently had several elderly customers complain that your reps were insensitive to their needs, focus your training on communicating with elderly customers and understanding their specific needs.
Then put the skills into context by acting out a mock conflict scenario and asking the group to brainstorm resolution tactics. Finally, reps should practice the skills in pairs or small groups.
Idea: Take 10 minutes out of a regular staff meeting to conduct these exercises on a regular basis. Stage a different skill at each meeting and work it into your regular agenda. That way your reps will stay fresh in their training, without taking too much time out of everyone’s already busy schedule