In the world of customer service, building a rapport with the customer is one of the most important things to an agent. However, in the process of creating a good rapport, some customers could misconstrue the effort of the agent. Sometimes the customer may start flirting with a customer service agent or worse even harass them.
Many customers know that there exists a clear line that separates business from pleasure and they are very cautious not to cross it. But dealing with customers day-in, day-out every so often a customer may cross the line with perhaps unsolicited flattery, inappropriate comments or unwanted advances.
When customers cross the line, they make the customer service agent very uncomfortable. They put them in a situation where they put their jobs at risk, all in the effort to please their company’s customers. That’s when the agent needs to take action to discourage the inappropriate behavior setting the course for a continued business relationship.
In the event that a customer service agent gets themselves in such a situation, they could consider the following actions;
Draw the line
Many at times building a rapport with the customers through casual conversations may pose a danger to customer service relations. Some customers may interpret friendly badinage as flirting and may respond so in kind even asking for personal contacts from the agents. Customer service correspondents should always stick to neutral conversation no matter how hard the customer may try to drive the conversation to inappropriate subjects. Some of the best neutral topics that an agent could use include, sports, industry news and world affairs.
Lay down the Law
Sometimes the customer may become an admirer and be bold enough to suggest a get-together right in the middle of a recorded call. The agent should explicitly and strongly tell the customer that it’s their personal policy never to date their company’s customers.
Inform the Boss
It may look like a petty thing but if a customer is flirting with a customer service agent, it’s the agents’ duty to inform the boss immediately. This way, if the situation escalates the boss is already aware and can help intervene. This also shows that an agent is committed to the job and wouldn’t want to risk it because of an infatuated customer.
Maintain your work schedule
A customer service agent should never give customers their personal contact information, whether they are admirers or not. Infatuated customers may not grow professional interests in a company in the future. An agent should only dedicate their work numbers and work hours available for the company.
Some of the customers may be tempted to send gifts to a customer agent. The agents should thank the customer for the gifts but explain that but they cannot accept them. The customer agent could offer to share the gift with colleagues since helping the customer is a team effort.
Be kind to the customers up to a point you can’t anymore
Many at times, the customer may feel foolish and dejected once his or her advances are rejected. So it’s pertinent that the customer agent continue to act kind and professional. However, sometimes the customer may persist after a rejection. At this point, the agent should definitely get the boss involved.