Customer Conflict Resolution & De-Escalation Training

De-Escalation & Conflict Resolution Training Workshops for Customer Services Representatives

Pollack Peacebuilding Systems provides conflict resolution training and de-escalation skills training for customer service agents. The training workshop is a dynamic, interactive event, specifically geared toward companies or agencies whose representatives deal with live or virtual customers, especially in industries where situations can lead to intensified or emotionally driven conflicts.

Customer Conflict Resolution Training involves:

  • A brief overview of conflict psychology and theory
  • How to identify early warning signs of intensifying conflicts
  • Improved communication for customer service and agency reps
  • Better listening skills
  • Do’s and Do Not’s of communication
  • De-escalation techniques
  • Enhanced ability to understand and attend to customer needs and feelings
  • How to temper feelings when emotions run high to more effectively communicate
  • Practicing empathic response rather than defensive reaction (emotional self-regulation)
  • Moving beyond simple policy enforcement
  • Mediating disputes between team members, and between employees and customers
  • Understanding the potential long-term costs of taking momentary attacks personal

conflict resolution training for customer service

When Standard Customer Service Training Just Won’t Cut It

Customers find themselves in disputes with agencies and companies about seemingly practical issues, but are often deeply emotionally triggered; core needs, feelings, and interests can be at play and foster more intense conflicts and unmovable positions. On the other side, many customer service or agency representatives have not been given the proper tools to handle these problems. Further, they are often working from scripts, which is typically obvious to the consumer. And while many customer service reps are highly trained and scripts are well written to address the customer’s needs, some disputes simply cannot be handled via pre-scripted responses or standard customer service training. Plus, as customers’ emotions rise, sometimes customer service representatives get emotionally triggered as well; they are also people with their own needs and feelings, and when triggered, agents may not be able to intelligently respond to a customer in a way that adequately represents the company’s policies and values.

These conflicts are almost never personal, but customers take them personally, and customer service agents may also feel personally attacked. This is the setting for escalated disputes and subsequent potential for legal and public relations problems that go well beyond the initial problem, which should have and could have been resolved in a much calmer and more benign manner.

Customer Conflict Resolution Training Can Prevent the Need for Legal or Forceful Action.

The cost of better de-escalation and conflict resolution training for customer service is incredibly lower than the potential lawsuits, stock drops, and public relation fiascoes that result from poorly handled disputes. At PPS, we are passionate about improving the customer experience as well as increasing companies’ and agencies’ public perception and perceived value. We keep company values, policies, and interests in mind while training employees to effectively communicate with customers in order to create fast, suitable Win-Win solutions for both parties.

Benefits to Better Customer Conflict Resolution Training Include:

  • Improved customer experience
  • Enhanced public perception
  • Lower long-term costs (i.e. legal, stocks, public relations, executive time and energy)
  • Less turnover (i.e. the need for firing or replacing customer service reps)
  • Executives, managers, and employees optimize their workplace relationships
  • Improve interpersonal communication and thus productivity throughout the company
  • Ward off spiraling conflicts that could lead to legal and financial damages
  • Turn workplace conflicts into opportunities
  • Help staff spend less time managing problems in order to spend more time helping customers
  • Create a happier, more productive work environment
  • Resolve problems before they begin, grow, and/or fester

To discuss conflict resolution training for your company or agency, contact PPS today. We’d love to improve your relationships with customers and/or the general public.

de-escalation training for customer service

Workplace Conflict Resolution Strategies

Although we’ll cover all of these topics in the training itself, we want to make sure that you understand all of the various elements that may be included with customer conflict resolution training. This way, you can be sure that you will take the right approach from the beginning since you’ll have an idea of what to expect.

Know the Stages of Your De-Escalation

Although each situation is different, it helps to follow a basic format to ensure that you don’t forget anything during the process. Overall, conflict resolution or de-escalation can happen in five stages. They are:

  • Listening Stage – this is when you listen and reflect on what the customer is needing, feeling, or wanting.
  • Reassuring Stage – during this phase, the customer service agent will use conflict psychology to mitigate perceived threats, calm the customer, and reassure them. It’s imperative that this stage is as comprehensive as possible so that the rest of the interaction can go smoothly. This is essentially the foundation of rapport building.
  • Explanation Stage – this is when a customer service rep will explain why the policy is important and how it might be helpful.
  • Negotiation Stage – once all parties understand each other’s sides, now you can discuss details to both resolve this conflict and prevent further problems in the future. Effective communication is crucial to any customer conflict resolution training, and here is where both sides can discuss possible solutions.
  • Closure Stage – although conflict resolution can be a bit open-ended, this stage happens once everyone involved has agreed to a solution. It’s critical that all parties are also on the same page so that there is no confusion or disagreement later on.

customer conflict resolution

Tips for Successful Customer Conflict Resolution Training

customer service rep deescalation training
customer service rep workplace conflict resolution training

Stay Calm

Conflicts are based on emotions, which means that the discussion can get heated pretty fast. However, if you want to make sure that you’re going to achieve your goals, you have to make sure that you remain as calm as possible during the interaction.

There are several ways to remain calm during this process, such as breathing exercises and meditation. Regardless of which method you use, make sure that it works well in a variety of situations.

If necessary, it may be best to recess both sides until everyone is calm and collected before you proceed so that you don’t risk escalation.

Listen to Understand, Not to Respond

During conflict resolution, it’s imperative that everyone involved understands all of the various elements at play. Not only should both sides be fully aware of why the conflict exists in the first place, but the underlying reasons why it has escalated to the point where a mediator is necessary.

All too often, people make presumptions about each other, especially when in disagreement. However, with the right conflict resolution training materials, it’ll be easier to find out the cause of the issue.

Focus on the Problem, Not the Customer

Another reason why conflicts can get out of hand is that people will take it personally. However, to resolve the issue, it’s much better to focus on what isn’t working and how it can be improved. Rather than trying to lay blame, you should consider the problem as a separate entity that needs to be removed. This way, no one feels singled out or attacked, and everyone can move forward.

Customer conflict resolution training is an integral part of maintaining excellent morale and teamwork among your customer service reps. With these strategies, you can create a cohesive work environment and customer relationships that are cherished by all.

To discuss customer de-escalation and conflict resolution training for your company or agency, contact PPS today.

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