Four Ways to Deal with a Difficult Customer
As a business owner, you probably deliver 5-star customer service, but there will always be somebody who could be happier. Even the most accomplished companies will have to deal with a problematic customer now and again. These customers are often quite abrasive with their complaints and can come across as somebody looking to pick an argument.
It can be tempting to dismiss them outright or, even worse, answer back with the same abrasiveness.
Don't do this. Instead, find ways to communicate with that customer so that you can work out how to solve their problem.
If you ever find yourself dealing with a demanding customer or client at wit's end, here are seven tips that may help.
Don't get defensive: It can be a natural reaction to want to stand up for yourself if a customer is clearly in the wrong, but becoming defensive is only going to make them more upset. When you feel the urge to counter their words, take a moment to step back and resist pointing out their mistake in a defensive way. Instead, calmly explain the information they may have missed. For example, they may have forgotten to read your terms and conditions page. You can point them to that and walk them through it.
Listen: People want to be heard and so do your customers - even if they are wrong. They believe their emotions to be valid regardless of if their complaint is unfounded or a genuine problem. Give them the time to explain their situation. Take an active interest in what they have to say. Let them know that their opinion is reasonable.
Simplify: When customers are upset over something, their problem will likely be convoluted or vague. For example, perhaps they missed important shipping information, reached out to a team member, and got an answer based on the estimated arrival time. But maybe they should have mentioned they had ordered an item that wouldn't be in stock for another few days, and the estimated time for an in-stock product has passed. Try to break the issue down into smaller pieces calmly, so you can go through them individually.
Solve: Even if the issue is your customer's mistake, take the time to walk through the problem with them now that you've simplified it. What can you do to help your customer? How can you assure them that the same mistake doesn't happen again.? Ask your customer what would improve their experience.
Finally, once the customer is satisfied, ask them to follow up on their experience with an endorsement or review. You have won the customer over at this point, and their satisfaction is like money in the bank.
If you are interested in a solution based approach to dealing with customer woes, let's talk! Fill out the form below to start the conversation.