There is a lot happening during a challenging call. There is the issue the conflict is about and solving that can be difficult enough.
There is also the client’s reaction, and that depends on a wide range of factors, including their personality, the importance of the issue to them, the nature of their relationship with your organisation, and what is happening in their life at that moment.
Your goal is to control the conversation in order to reduce the emotional atmosphere, where reactions and counter-reactions override everything else, making a successful outcome difficult.
Remember in many cases the client’s anger has often started before they speak with you, so you need to take control of the call fast.
By controlling the conversation, we mean:
- Ensuring it proceeds in an orderly manner
- Encouraging the client to think rather than react
- Creating the platform to constructively work with the client in a non-emotional atmosphere.
Who is in control of this conversation?
The staff member cannot progress this situation whilst the client is reacting and controlling the conversation. Let’s look at how clients try to gain control over the conversation and why.