5 Tips For Handling a Difficult Customer
by Arina Smith Customer Service 18 September 2018
Working in customer service means having to handle a wide variety of client concerns. Usually people are reasonable, however, on occasion, you are faced with having to manage a tough customer.
When a client is dissatisfied with the service or product they’ve received, they’re often angry and emotionally charged. It can be challenging to try to reach a calm understanding when they are frustrated. However, as a manager or representative, it’s your job to ensure that you reach a solution. Here are some of the best tips for handling a difficult and displeased customer.
Listen To Them:
The most important thing that you can do the minute you start the conversation is to listen to them explain their issue. When you give the time to someone to hear them out, you’re giving them respect.
Cutting them off or getting impatient with them will only escalate the situation. Let them finish explaining their circumstances. Even though it may be difficult to listen to criticism, it’s often how a company is able to make improvements to their business structure. Being open to feedback is an outstanding quality to have if you plan on lasting as a business.
If a customer is yelling at you or speaking in a harsh manner, it’s challenging not to meet their energy with the same in return. Every fiber of your being may be eager to yell at them back and give them a piece of your mind, but this is where self-control comes in.
Losing your job or business over one customer isn’t worth giving into your emotions. Try to remain calm and be professional.
In order to do this, you may want to practice breathing exercises or put them on hold for a few moments to gather your composure.
Explain The Circumstances:
Once you’ve clearly identified the issue at hand, you should repeat it back to the customer. Make sure to repeat back to them what you understand the problem is and then explain why it happened.
This can be challenging if you’re not at fault as a company. However, there are ways to explain it without seeming like you’re telling the customer that they’re wrong.
One of the most powerful tools that you can use against an angry customer who is being difficult is to express your apologies.
Even if you don’t mean it, it can completely change the dynamic of the conversation if they feel you have compassion for their circumstances. By apologizing and offering a solution, you will hopefully diffuse their anger and work towards the next step. Otherwise, you run the risk of spinning your wheels without having made any progress.
Offer a Solution:
Usually, ultimately all the customer wants is to be given a solution that makes them feel compensated for the aggravation that they’ve endured.
Arriving at a fair conclusion which is in the customer and company’s best interest is ideal. That way they get what they want, you retain a client, and everyone walks away happily.