We all want happy customers who heartily recommend our services to others. The reality is however, even the best operated businesses have to deal with difficult customers. Customer relations are a crucial part of any business operation. Here are some tips in dealing with difficult customers.
- Change your attitude. Rather than going into the conversation wondering what’s wrong with the customer, or why they are so unreasonable, take a breath. Accept the fact that at this moment, they are dissatisfied. Focus on how you can change that.
- Listen. I mean REALLY listen. You might begin by saying something like “Tell me your story from the beginning.”
- As you listen, you will be able to repeat their concerns. “So, you were on hold ten minutes?” Not only does this acknowledge the customers’ concerns but shows you were listening. It can bring down the anger.
- Show empathy, recognize their feelings and move on. “I can understand your frustration, 10 minutes is far too long to be on hold. Our representative should at least have checked in with you. I apologize for that.”
- Offer a resolution. If the customer doesn’t seem to like your resolution, let them offer one.
Of course you will want to follow up on this customer as an additional sign of concern.
Everyone will have the occasional disgruntled customer. It is your frame of mind in dealing with them that can make all the difference.