If you’re on the frontlines of every business, chances are you have to deal with customer service. And that old adage, “the customer is always right” still resonates to many individuals. Sure, the customer could blatantly be incorrect, but the bottom line is, they’re still a customer. How you handle the process dictates whether they continue their brand loyalty to you or run to the competition.
So, how exactly do you overcome anger that led to the friction? Consider the following tips to handle difficult customers.
Actively listening has continued to dwindle down in our society, but the basics of effective communication begin with listening. It is incredibly imperative to all businesses to thrive by first, understanding their customers; both good and bad. Great customer representatives do not get distracted when a difficult customer is in front of them. They don’t easily dismiss the issue without running all kinds of protocols to win their satisfaction. Nonetheless, he will never appear defensive, but rather, accommodating.
Going further than sympathy, empathy goes further by achieving your objectives. Try putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. Wouldn’t you be angry, disgruntles, or maybe even fearful if the service or product didn’t live up to your expectations? After all, it is your hard-earned money we’re dealing with.
Even if the customer is incorrect about an issue, accept their opinion as is. When you actively listen and emphasize the situation, they’re more likely to relax and you can move on to addressing the problem. There’s no point in arguing with the customer since your goal is to solve what transpired. Be prepared to hear the peripheral stories of how they ended with a mountain of anger.
Showing respect goes a long way. If the customer sees you’re practicing this virtue, they will most likely mirror it to you. Of course, if he feels disrespected, they’ll see it as a personal attack and could go on defensive mode. Keep in mind, you can always learn from anyone and any situation so practice respect when you’re dealing with a difficult customer.
If you’re able to adhere to the first four tips, you’re paving a way to negotiation. At the very last phase of the process, you want to keep the person at ease. Let them know you’re by his side, and together you can tackle the problem. Remember, handle every situation with integrity, honesty, and fairness.