If you work in the sales or services industry, dealing with customers is part of the package. Customer demographics may vary from business to business but one thing is for certain; all businesses and industries have their share of ‘tough customers’.
This begs the question; how does one go about dealing with them? Are there any tried and tested ways to deal with difficult customers?
The customer in question might do anything from harshly criticizing your product or service to make a personal remark. Stay calm, stay cool and do not lose your composure.
Oftentimes a customer may have just had a rotten day. Let them say their bit and be patient. Further, extend your patience to situations where you need to explain the same thing over and over. Patience is not just a virtue; it’s a great tool to deal with tough customers.
We do not mean that you should be inattentive to your customer. This is more about not taking certain things personally. A customer, especially a difficult one, will hurl all sorts of criticism.
Though a lot of the criticism needs to be attended to, there is much you can ignore. Try not to take things to heart. Respond to everything. Work on or rectify what is constructively pointed out. Ignore and discard the rest. You don’t want one bad customer ruining your entire day and making you feel incompetent!
Where it helps to keep your emotions guarded, you still need to be attentive. This is so with any kind of customer. Being inattentive will make a bad situation worse. Keep with what your customer is saying. Ask relevant questions. Do not respond in a rush. Make sure you’re attentive and careful. The person, on the other hand, will see this as you being highly professional.
Acknowledgment and Empathy
Acknowledging their concerns doesn’t mean you agree with them. Sometimes, all you need to do is listen. Be attentive. Do not minimize their feelings or concerns. Once they’ve said their bit, they’ll be much calmer and receptive. This will make further dealings simpler for you.
Alternatively, being empathic is a good way to go about things too. Understand that maybe the riled up customer has had a bad day. Be kind, be compassionate and hopefully they will cool off.
Go the Extra
Going the extra mile is a great way to show even the most stubborn customers that you care. If you’re at a station, have your partner take over while you walk them to the next counter. If they forget to bring an envelope, hand them one from your drawer. You get the picture. Facilitate. Make their life easy even if it’s something a little out of your specific job description.
Going the extra mile always pays off.
There are different kinds of customers who have different ways of being hard to deal with. The steps above should work for most people you come across. If you want to delve into specific situations, however, you might want to attend a talk or seminar by motivational business and keynote speaker Bill Wooditch.
Drawing on years of being a successful business person, Bill helps numerous professionals across the United States connect with their competence and really make waves in the industry.
In any case, when it comes to tough customers; hold your ground, stay kind and attentive and remember, the better the transaction goes, the better it is for you!