- Start a Business
- Business Ideas
- Business Financing
- Marketing & More
- About Idea Cafe
5 Suggestions for Dealing with Difficult Customers
by Dixie Somers Thu, 03/02/2017 - 10:01
It’s said that you cannot please everybody all of the time. Business owners understand this clearly. No matter how hard you try, you may still encounter those difficult customers who are just impossible to please. However, this doesn’t mean that you should just give up and stop trying to satisfy those demanding people. There are some steps you can take to maintain professionality and keep your reputation in good standing.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes and Let Them Talk
We’ve all had those poor customer service moments when we feel frustrated and upset. Take a moment to remember one of those moments and consider how you wish you’d been treated. Give the customer standing in front of you the courteous and respectful treatment you wish you’d received.
Sometimes, the customer really just wants to vent. They also want to know that they’ve been heard. You can accomplish both by staying calm and just listening. When they’ve had their say, take a moment to compose your answer. Be willing to ask questions to clarify any information.
Be Empathetic and Maintain a Low Voice
You can be empathetic without admitting any wrongdoing. Clarify how your customer is feeling and then let him or her know that you understand and sympathize. For example, if a customer is upset over a long way, tell them that you understand how frustrating that is and want to make the situation better.
Your strategy to diffuse the situation should include maintaining a calm voice and low tone. Throughout the interaction, assume that all eyes are on you and how you treat this customer. Be respectful, stay calm, and focus on being positive.
Ask the Customer What They’d Like
One of the best things you can do is to simply ask the customer what you can do to make the situation better. Even if the customer is in the wrong and you’re feeling frustrated yourself, you can still ask the question. If what they want is unreasonable, then you’ll still have a starting point to make a counteroffer. You may find that they only want a small discount or a quick apology, and you can be the hero by agreeing to their wishes. It’s better to make a slightly smaller profit today while keeping the customer for the future.
If your company is in the wrong here, then assure the customer that steps will be taken to prevent a repeat of the incident. This can also put the individual’s mind at ease to know that they’ve made a positive change in company procedures.
Be True to Your Word
There may be times when you need to research a situation before making a decision. Whether it’s looking at a receipt or talking to employees, you’ll need to keep any promises you make to the customer. Let the customer know when they can expect to hear back from you and put that information on your calendar. Handle the necessary research and then communicate your findings to the client so that you can determine the next step.
Ask for Feedback
Before considering the matter closed, ask the customer if he or she is pleased with the resolution. Invite them to leave some feedback online for you or to send you the information privately so that it can be shared with your team. Customer reviews can be invaluable when it comes to developing better customer service standards.
Unhappy customers are a part of life for every business owner. There will come a point when you are faced with a person who is upset with your company procedures, a specific incident, a product, or simply an employee. Communicate openly with them, be ready to apologize and set it right, and then ask them for feedback to improve your chance of turning that unhappy client into a customer for life.