When dealing with consumers who have disputes or complaints, billers and collectors should always remember the following:
- Don't be afraid to engage with the upset consumers - they can be turned around.
- Don't judge consumers too quickly.
- Stay calm. If consumers raise their voice, lower yours. Don't add fuel to the fire.
- Listen to consumers and let them vent.
- Use empathetic phrases such as, "I understand," "I'm sorry," and "I'm here to help."
- Don't rush the conversation. Take time to build rapport with consumers and ask questions.
- Take personal responsibility for any problems. Admit any mistakes, be humble and offer to make it right.
- Never say "no" or "I can't." Instead, tell consumers what you can do.
- Find a way to compliment consumers.
- Don't overwhelm consumers with too many facts or figures.
- Always follow through with complaints in a timely fashion and keep promises made.
Complaints and angry calls can be hard to take, but sometimes they can have positive results. By developing a comprehensive complaint and dispute resolution process, companies can turn disgruntled consumers into loyal clients, identify any compliance weaknesses and diffuse problems before they escalate.