No matter how easy consumers have it when purchasing goods or services (thanks, Internet), many of them still seem utterly dissatisfied. Any good employee knows, though, that the customer is always right…even when they're wrong. The bottom line is that if you want a successful business, you have to deal with all your customers, even the rude, unruly and irrational ones. Here are a few tips for dealing with those no good, very bad customers before you let them ruin your day.
Be a Good Listener: Whatever you do, don’t argue with the customer or try to talk over them. Let the customer air their grievances, even if you know exactly what they’re going to go on and on about. This is extremely hard if the customer has the wrong information, but still, it’s a necessary step to disarming them. Sometimes, listening is all that a dissatisfied customer needs.
Be empathetic: Put yourself in the customer’s place. How would you feel if you were them? What would you do? Is there anything that would make the situation better? Build rapport by echoing back what they’ve been saying to you — this proves to the customer that you’ve actually been listening. Identifying with the customer will help them to calm down.
Keep Your Voice Low: The louder the customer gets, the more cool, calm and quiet you should get. Speak slowly and lower your voice. If you are calm, the customer may settle down as well. By showing that you’re unaffected by their volume and tone, the customer’s anger may quickly dissipate.
Imagine Your Other Customers Are Watching: Act as though you’re not speaking with one customer, but instead to a whole stadium filled with your customers. Why? Odds are that this one customer is going to share their experience with everybody they know. If every single customer was listening to this conversation, how would you handle it? Think clearly before responding and make sure to address the customer’s concerns in a way that helps them stay calm.
Give In…Sometimes: With certain customers, you have to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of just giving in. If you don’t satisfy the customer, are you going to need to take a week off of work and amp up your migraine medicine? Will you get so many negative referrals that your income will start to plummet? It’s probably best to compromise with the customer in this case. If you give them what they want, within reason, you can move on to your other nicer, more reasonable customers. Remember, extremely difficult customers are the exception, not the rule.
So You’re Not Giving In… Well, good for you — you’re standing your ground and there’s probably a very good reason to do so. Now you have a few other things to deal with. First, don’t get upset or angry. Even if the customer is swearing, being verbally abusive and insulting your character, breathe deeply and continue along as though you didn’t hear them. Reacting to them in the same negative way won’t do a thing to solve the problem. Second, don’t take anything they’re saying personally. Keep in mind that this person doesn’t actually know you and anything they’re saying is coming out of anger. Don’t get personal with them, either. Third, remember that you’re just talking to a regular person, albeit a mouthy, flustered one. We all have bad days and you may be in a position to make their day a little bit better.
Simplify When the call’s wrapping up, go over everything they can expect. Document the interaction so you’re prepared the next time you speak with the customer. Most importantly, if you promise to call back, make sure to follow through.
About the Author
Cassie Lummus is a content developer focusing on how Answering Service United’s call center services and professional answering services can help small and medium sized businesses save money and grow.
Comment on this article or post an article by joining the RxEconsult community.
Please Share on Your Social Networks