Maham Riaz (May 12, 2015)
Being in business, you have to deal with all sorts of customers. Sometimes, it becomes very challenging to deal with difficult customers because they go on the verge of annoying you so much that you are likely to lose patience. Difficult customers include the angry customers, dissatisfied customers, complaining customers, confused customers and customers who think they know everything. Impulsive, lost and demanding customers are also in the list. However, handling difficult customers is part of the customer service business and such situations should be taken as an opportunity to prove your competence and professionalism, it would benefit you in building your brand’s image and customer loyalty. Here are a few tips for dealing with difficult customers:
An angry customer wants to vent anger by talking, so instead of arguing or giving explanations, listen patiently. Apologize for the inconvenience and trouble caused. The best way to deal with an unhappy customer is to listen to all the complaints he/she has without interrupting the conversation, save your logical reasoning after the apology. Ask a confused customer what he/she is looking for, keep on asking questions and listen carefully. The “know it all” customer wants to show off how much he/she knows about a product, so be all ears without giving your opinion. The first step towards handling difficult customers is listening more and talking less.
A customer, who wanted to surprise his wife on their wedding anniversary with her favorite cake and is delivered a wrong order, needs more than a formal apology. Without empathizing with the customers, you cannot win them over, so make them feel that you can actually relate to their situation. A complaining, disgruntled or lost customer would expect you to use some empathetic words. Your tone should reflect that you care; give the customer a gesture that you are equally concerned about the issue and would do your best to solve it.
A shouting, complaining or confused customer would want an immediate solution to his/her problem so rather than explaining that you will talk to the management about it or the manufacturing department has to deal with this sort of problem, improvise to come up with a quick solution. You can turn the most difficult customers into loyal ones through this approach. Empower your employees and give them the freedom to be creative to solve a customer service issue, you can define certain parameters to make it beneficial for your business and the customers.
Some customers want their personal space when they are annoyed, so do not ask questions that can aggravate the matter. Make the unhappy customers feel comfortable, give a gesture that you have realized your mistake and would do anything to make up for it. The most appropriate way to deal with unhappy customers is to fix their problem instead of arguing with them or giving them long explanations. Some smart customers do not want suggestions and despise marketing gimmicks, let them take the lead while choosing a product, facilitate such customers without making them feel that you are trying to compel or force them into buying a product.
If a customer is dissatisfied with the product or service quality, facilitate the customer and offer something extra. A gift, a discount coupon, or an event invite would make your customer feel how valuable he/she is to your business. Offer a confused customer suggestions and recommend a product keeping in view his/her preferences, bundle it up with a small card or gift to show how much you enjoyed helping him/her out with the decision making. Stories of businesses going the extra mile with complaining, unhappy and demanding customers can earn them new ones through worth of mouth, so don’t miss out on the opportunity of surprising the difficult customers!
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