6 Ways to Deal With Difficult Customers/Clients
“The Customer is always right”. Sure, it’s a good rule to live by in any customer or client facing industry…but that doesn’t mean it’s always that simple. Here’s our top tips on dealing with that difficult customer or client:
A listening ear is an essential aspect of customer service. Often issues with customers arise through frustration of something or things having gone wrong at somewhere in their customer experience. Listening as they explain their issue allows them to vent their anger and frustration, often taking the heat out of the situation. It also communicates to them that you are interested in helping them resolve the issue at hand.
Do Not Take It Personally
As we’ve already said, it’s likely that your customer is frustrated in some way with their experience or you wouldn’t now be dealing with them. Frustration and anger can often come hand in hand. We need to remember that we’re all human. People often speak in a manner that they would not normally do when it situations like this. It’s important therefore that you take account of this, should you be spoken to in a rude manner or feel that you are being disrespected. The worst thing that you could do in this situation is react personally. Always act professionally but if you feel that process is not working, it is worth politely reminding the customer that you’re human too and that you should also be treated with respect.
Do What You Say You Will
Do not try to diffuse the situation by fobbing the customer off. If you promise to call them back, do, even if what you have to say may not be what they want to hear. Avoiding the issue will only make it all the more difficult to deal with in the future, especially if they feel that they cannot put faith in what you say because you didn’t to do what you promised last time.
Although you may feel that you, yourself are not at fault, and most likely you’re not, always apologise. This often goes a long way in customer service as it shows decency and a willingness to take accountability on some level.
Grasp the Nettle
You will not always be able to resolve the issue completely to everyone’s satisfaction. If not, the customer will need to know this. When communicating this information, speak softly, calmly and politely but also try to be firm in your tone.
Know your limitations
You may not necessarily be able to resolve a particular issue with a customer or client yourself. In this case, do not be afraid to involve a more experienced colleague or line manager.