3 Tips for Responding to a Frustrated Message

Ever return to your desk after a meeting or lunch break to find a message from someone who is not in a good mood? Responding to a frustrated associate is something most of us dread, but at Ruby®, we see it as an opportunity to make a fantastic impression. For all of our telephone answering, the Ruby crew rarely encounters a frustrated caller, and when we do, our virtual receptionist team snaps into WOWing mode, doing our darndest to turn a tricky situation around.

Applying the Ruby spirit when responding to a message is easy — whether you’re a receptionist or CEO, we suggest trying these tips when a colleague, customer, or co-worker is frustrated:

  • Talk it out. Regardless of whether your associate emailed you or left a voicemail, call or talk face-to-face when emotions are running high — don’t email your associate unless it’s your only option. Conveying a positive tone in email is a lot harder than doing so with your voice. Talking to your associate gives you a better opportunity to exude calmness and kindness, and defuse a touchy situation.
  • Prepare. Before you talk it out, take a few minutes to consider the key points you’d like to address, and anticipate additional questions or concerns that might arise. Prepare for curveballs, too, and be ready to confidently offer help even when you don’t have the answer. Here’s a solid comeback to an unexpected question: “Great question! Let me look into that and follow up with you.”
  • Visualize. You can probably imagine a million ways a conversation with a frustrated colleague could go awry. But don’t — negative thinking won’t make your follow-up any easier. Instead, envision your conversation going well, and your colleague’s concerns being assuaged. Who better than you to turn a frown upside down? Go get ’em, Tiger!

How do you respond when an associate is upset? We’d love to learn from you! Tweet us @callruby.

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