Dealing with a difficult customer can be a devil of a job: it may either take your relationship with them to the next level, or you may never meet them again. The choice is yours to make. You’ve probably read thousands of spooky and difficult customer service scenarios, but the truth is – the difficulty lies mainly in the communication you are able to provide. Customer service is usually all about communication and negotiation, and how well you are at it.
Dealing with difficult customers, as tricky as it can be, shouldn’t infuse fear. It must be viewed as a new opportunity to sharpen your skills and represent your brand in a new light. To help with that, here are some guidelines and tips on how to handle a difficult customer.
Always maintain a positive attitude! The situation is much more controllable when the communicators are in a good mood. You might not know the solution to every problem, that will come up. Maintaining positivity helps you to be logical and never lose hope in finding the way out of a complex situation.
This second tip is the continuation of the first one, that is – to always remain calm, and never raise the tone of your voice. How would you handle a customer who behaves wildly and yells at a customer service specialist?
You may also encounter such customers online, and the same goes here. Of course, it’s quite natural to have a somewhat aggressive reaction to this kind of behavior, we’re all human after all, but when you’re a customer service specialist, your task is to avoid such reactions at all costs. Your responsibility is to come up with a solution, be it permanent or, at least, temporary.
One of the ways to deal with challenging customers is to always listen to them, no matter how talkative they are. Listening to them means attempting to understand the roots of the problem and then letting them know if you’re capable of providing any resolution. The customer must feel heard and understood by your replies. Hopefully, they must also receive the solutions to their concerns.
When dealing with difficult customers, you must make them feel like you’re trying to help, and not trying to win the heated debate. Try to bring arguments respectfully, and let them know that you’re listening by using some affirmations such as, “I understand,” “I agree,” or “That makes sense”.
In times when sorry seems to be the hardest word, it’s still worth making the effort. Apologizing for the problem says a lot about your attitude toward the customer. By doing so, you’re making space for the customer’s patience and self-worth.
Ask questions in order to fully understand the concern and to be able to let them know whether you can be of any help or not. It’s important to keep the conversation going and to explain what outcomes you see for the given challenge. It’s crucial to clearly explain if you’re the right person in the team to approach for that particular matter or not.
Sometimes you may need some time to discuss the point with your colleague. That’s very reasonable because it’s not a good idea to jump to quick responses or conclusions. And this is also something you need to communicate clearly so that the customer feels important and valued. You should assure that there’s always something you can do about their concern.
In the end, to effectively handle a difficult customer, you must focus on longevity. Customers are the ones who spread opinions about your business, so they must be cherished and respected. When you focus on the idea of establishing a long-term relationship, it’s easier to navigate. Practice ways on how to gain the most of the customer reviews.
These are some gentle hints which will hopefully guide you towards handling the most difficult customers. It’s never too late to refine your relationships and reach the level of customer satisfaction you’ve initially set for your business.
Do you have other ways to handle a difficult customer? We will be happy to hear your approach as well.