In there situations, no matter how trivial the problem, your customer may be very difficult, demanding. Angry, rude, and even potentially violent. Short of hanging up or calling security, there are certain fundamental yet important steps you can take to deal with difficult customers. *One of the first steps to take when dealing with a challenging customer Is to protect yourself with the proper mindset and attitude. Just because your customer is agitated or angry does not mean you need to absorb it or respond in kind.
Studies show that Just a few minutes of a strong negative emotion such as anger can demolish your body’s Immune system for many hours afterward. Remember you can’t always control how a customer reacts to a given problem, but you can control how you respond. Rather than escalate an unpleasant situation, you can try some tactics to defuse It. You can do this by remaining focused. Alert, understanding, caring, unemotional, and-?most of all-?patient. 2. Defusing Customer Misbehaver – Earlier In the course we considered Just what it is a customer wants.
The answer applies to upset customers Just as much as any other: they want to be treated with respect and polite, helpful service. There is an ancient adage that a gentle word turns away wrath, and that’s as true today. A rude, angry, or belligerent customer may be calmed with a simple, “I’m sorry this has upset you let’s see how we can fix it. ” *It’s when dealing with difficult customers that your communication skills will be put to the highest test. It may be best to let your customer vent a little before you come back with a response.
Remember to speak slowly, use short sentences, be tactful, and follow the golden model of customer service: listen, empathic, and take charge. *It helps to use a customer-centric perspective that puts o In the place of your customer. Try to see the situation as they do. What exactly Is causing them stress? What are the solutions they might find satisfactory? How can those solutions be applied with minimum effort by your customer? *You should message is coming through, and you understand their problem clearly.
The first step is to smile, to show that you are a friendly ally on their side to fix it. Smile even if you are on the phone-?that gesture may sound in your voice. Do not interrupt while your customer is explaining a problem, other than to help clarify an issue. If it’s in person, mean towards your customers and turn an ear their way to show you are intently listening. Especially if it’s a conversation on the telephone, be sure to use affirmative words and sounds such sash-huh, yes, I see, to demonstrate that you are listening, and to encourage your customer to continue. 3.
Customer Service Do’s and Don’t – Before we get into some best tips on what to do when dealing with difficult customers, let’s start by considering some important things not to do. As mentioned earlier, be sure not to get angry yourself, even if the customer starts to attack you personally as uncaring incompetent. The reason you have been placed in your position is because you have demonstrated a concern for customer service and the skills to perform your Job well. The customer is responding with a perspective muddled by emotion, and you should keep that in mind. You should also avoid telling your customer to calm down.
That may make you appear adversarial to agitated customers, rather than as a helper trying to understand how they feel. Likewise, don’t feel a need to defend yourself. This can also create an adversarial relation. Rather, try to assure your customers you hear their concern, and you sincerely want to help. Try not to interrupt your customers, especially while they’re venting some of their anger. Once they have raged for a bit, they may be easier to ration with if you simply acknowledge their anger, and let them share some of it with you. Summary: An attitude of calm detachment can help you deal with difficult customers.
An upset customer can best be defused with a little empathy and an apology. When dealing with angry customers, employ active listening skills, and assure them you’re on their side. Don’t get caught up in a customer’s personal attacks. Turn the interaction to a focus on fixing an issue, empowering the customer to help seek suitable solutions. Exceed the customer’s expectations. WHO ARE THE CHALLENGING CUSTOMERS 5 kinds of challenging customers: 1 . Chatty Cathy – Every now and then you will get a few customers that would like nothing more than to talk for hours.
This isn’t too bad on a slow day, but they seem to always appear when you have a line of people waiting for your service. Find a place to interject with those precious lines of “have a great day” and see them on their way. Off, but their topics of discussion are a little more than personal. Whether they’re asking about what your tattoo means or if you’re dating anyone, there is only one way to stop this game of 20 questions. Laugh off the questions and stick to direct, one word answers. Hopefully, they’ll get the hint and cross your fingers that it doesn’t get any worse. . The screamer – We’ve touched on dealing with difficult customers before, but this is as bad as they come. Maybe they feel like yelling will help get their point across or their problem solved faster. Remain calm, apologize and let them know their concerns are heard. Work with them to resolve the issue in a calm, civilized manner. Your boss will really appreciate it. 4. Mr.. Time is money – You can tell this customer by the glances at their watch and the impatient foot tapping. They might be on a quick lunch break or on their way to rescue a kitten from a tree. Who knows?
Move quickly and only deliver the important information to get them in and out. 5. Last comic standing – You ask if there is anything else you can get them and they say “yeah, a million dollars”. They’re intentions are harmless and if anything they’re only trying to brighten your day. Give them your most genuine laugh and a smile to make their day as well. As you can see, it’s important to adjust your work style to each customer to provide the best customer service possible. Now that you know how to deal with the most common, any other customers should be a piece of cake: Viii. WHY ARE CUSTOMERS CHALLENGING Why are customers so difficult?
As customers, do we need a corporation to satisfy our emotional needs to earn our loyalty? In response, I thought of the top 10 reasons why your customers are being difficult: Top 10 Reasons Why Your Customers are Challenging (1 . ) You’re the only game in town or one of a few, limited options – You may feel you eave a captive audience, but realize that it takes a special effort not to be arrogant in those circumstance, and your customers don’t like the treatment. For example, if you’re looking for a high speed Internet provider, there may be only one to choose from in your market. Mobile network with broad global coverage?
Same thing, one or two. (2. ) People want to be part of something bigger/better – On the other hand, if you are the only game in town, how about considering the community and the people who look up to your company? Are you as a company excited to be part of that community? Are your people encouraged to contribute? 3. ) Customers feel you’re charging too much – Especially when everyone is facing tightening economic conditions, there isn’t perceived or tangible value coming out of your rates. That’s why it’s a good idea to communicate about context in your marketing. Your good deal will be put to the test by your customers with their peers. 4. ) You’re not listening to what they have to say – There are rules to follow and incentives to be had, and they both point in some other direction than where the customer wants to go in the conversation. If you were in court, they might say you were leading the witness. Allow customers to say what they want to say. Maybe ask clarifying questions. (5. ) You’re being negative – The conversation may have started on the right foot, but you continue to talk about what can’t be done, the rules and policies – in other words, you experienced this? (6. ) You’re not soliciting feedback – This could even be worse than not listening.
We all know that what we like may not be what others want, even at home. Why would this be different with customers? Are you changing a product, their product, or the packaging without asking, first? Think about what Pepsi did recently with Tropical packaging. Go by the old axiom – if it mint’ broken, don’t fix it. (7. ) You’re asking, but not following up – One more step on the infuriating scale is when you ask, acknowledge what your customer is telling you, and then do nothing about it. If a customer takes the time to give you input, the expectation is that there will be some kind of follow up.
Wouldn’t you expect the same? (8. ) You make it difficult to reach the right person – Many touch points may be good in marketing parlance, but when it comes to customer service, they plain suck. Have you experienced one or two transfers when calling a company? I can count up to five and then back to the original number. (9. ) You change the rules on them – Managing expectations is one thing, but today the rules and the fine print are changing so often, that it’s become difficult to figure out what is included and what isn’t, with anything. There’s an impact on trust here. (10. Some customers are always going to be difficult – It’s not personal, let’s face it, there may not be a way of pleasing them. Does that mean you should stop trying? Today at Fast Company expert blob we walk about how to deal with difficult customers. Are you a difficult customer? I think some of you are. I know I can be for some of the reasons outlined here. ‘x. TYPES OF DIFFICULT CUSTOMERS No matter how much time you spend on delivering good customer service, sometimes it’s Just not enough. There will always be customers who are not satisfied with the kind of support and service you provide.
However, the key is to learn how to handle these situations head-on, while serving your customers and protecting your integrity at the same time. Here are five difficult customers you may encounter in the future and recommendations on how to effectively deal with them: 1 . Aggressive Alice Who she is: Alice was enraged when she saw that the deluxe room she booked had one large bed inside instead of two smaller-sized beds. She thought that the room she booked was enough for her and her two kids-?her daughter who wants to sleep next to her and her son who prefers to sleep in a separate bed.
Instead of asking what happened with her reservation politely, she raised her voice to the staff and called them incompetent. Alice is not entertaining explanations and all she wants to do is to point out the mistake of the hotel staff. How to deal: Whether it’s your fault or hers, the lady is obviously not going to listen. First, you’ve to calm down. Do not match her aggressiveness with your high emotions, because it will only create a bigger problem. Then, wait for her to calm down. When her anger has subsided, take the opportunity to apologize and offer a solution.
Do not let hurtful words affect your decisions. 2. Very Important Patrick (V. I. P) Who he is: Patrick doesn’t like waiting. The pair of sneakers he was trying on is too small for him so he ordered a bigger size. It was a weekend so naturally, there are many customers seeking assistance from the staff, but Patrick thinks he’s the only customer present. He thinks he is above everyone else and insists he should be prioritize. How to single out a particular customer Just because he thinks he’s the only one important. Do your best to serve him as quickly as possible so you can also attend to other customers.
If possible, refer him to less-busy colleagues who can give him better, timely assistance. 3. Silent Sophie Who she is: Sophie is planning on having a hair makeover at a salon. The stylist asks Sophie what hairstyle she wants. Sophie answers “a little trim and blonde hair color,” which is too vague for the stylist. How do ell: Customers like Sophie expect that once they give an instruction, the person involved can already perform the task on their own. If she is unable or unwilling to supply you with more information on what she wants, ask her questions instead. Ask her what particular shade of blonde she is referring to.
Show her magazines or catalogues to arrive at a more specific hair color. Have her describe the hair style she prefers. Point out how small of a difference “a little trim” can make to her hair. She might be expecting a drastic change in her look so it’s best to manage expectations early. 4. Complaining Carl Who he is: Carl ordered Fresh Mushroom Soup but in the middle of the meal, he noticed that it tasted like ready-made mushroom soup straight from the can. Disappointed, he called the attention of the waiter and asked him to explain why the soup is not “fresh” contrary to what was stated in the menu.
Carl also started noticing the little things like how unclear the glass of water is and complained that the lights are too dim for a restaurant. He wants to talk to the manager because he thinks the waiter can’t address all his complaints. How to deal: It does not matter if you ran out of mushrooms and resorted to serving canned pop instead or if Carl Just has an odd palate. Just apologize for what happened, but don’t try to come up with excuses and try to explain your way out. It’s unlikely Carl will listen to your explanations anyway. Also, give him his demands in one transaction- deliver everything he might need at once.
That way, you do not have to deal with him multiple times. If he is still unsatisfied, seek help from your superior but be sure to offer a solution first. For example, recommend a different soup or offer to subtract the price of the order from his bill. 5. Know-it-all Nikkei Who she is: Nikkei is trying different shades of foundation in a cosmetic store when the beauty consultant approaches her. The woman tries to help Nikkei pick the perfect shade for her skin tone when she notices that Nikkei was applying foundation that’s too light for her. Nikkei insists that it’s her skin and she knows what she is doing.
How to deal: Give Nikkei a little ego-boost by dishing out compliments such as “you will look prettier if you wear this shade” or “I hear Drew Barrymore uses this color. ” Just make sure you are telling the truth and not Just complimenting her blindly. If that does not work, suggest that there are other options you think might work for her. If she still insists that you’re wrong and she’s right with her choice, let her be. You have done your part to provide her with good beauty advice and it is up to her to decide whether to take it or not. X.