Adur and Worthing Council contact centre takes up to 1000 calls per day. Inevitably, some of these calls come from angry or distressed callers. The Council noticed a rise in the number of people who were articulating severe anxiety and depression – often from people in housing crisis or owing the Council money. This was placing a burden on staff who were trying to offer help, while maintain professional boundaries and resilience.
So the Council enrolled their team onto escalla’s Dealing with Challenging Customer Conversations training course – specifically designed to help teams effectively handle aggressive and vulnerable customers. Through practical adaptive tools and techniques, they looked at how to approach conflict, deal with difficult situations, reduce stress and look after themselves and their callers.
Since the training, Adur and Worthing Council contact centre management have noticed a shift in how their staff interact with customers. They’ve become more assertive, displaying empathy, but without ‘taking on’ the customers' problems.
“I got comments from almost all the team to say it was the best training they'd ever had - because the trainer made them feel safe to share difficulties, and suggested practical ways to tackle them.”
Service Manager at Adur and Worthing Council
"At Yorkshire Housing we believe in making it possible for our customers to have a place they’re proud to call home. As with any social housing organisation, sometimes this comes with its challenges and our Customer experience teams do an excellent -yet sometimes difficult- job to handle calls, often from distressed customers. Last year, we identified a need to provide better support to our customers in those scenarios and at the same time enable our colleagues to preserve their own wellbeing in stressful or difficult situations.
We spent a long time in conversations with different providers but within five minutes of our first conversation with Mel, it became clear escalla were the right match for our needs.
We’ve had nothing but refreshing and positive feedback from our colleagues who have so far attended the workshop and the impact this has had on their work – the way they now approach and deal with stress and difficult conversations is truly inspiring.
I attended one of the sessions myself and I can only say it was one of the most engaging, interactive workshops I’ve taken part in. It stays with you and encourages you to make changes from day one, whilst giving you the tools to do it."
Learning and Organisation Development Partner, Yorkshire Housing