Any company or individual offering a service to a client will eventually run into those tough customers.
Whether that customer has numerous complaints, they are a customer that’s hard to satisfy, or they are outright rude to your customer service staff, having everyone trained in the art of resolution is best.
Learn these 5 tips to keep customer service running smoothly!
As Allen Greer of Hubspot puts it, “You must become a master of mind tricks when handling tough clients. You use your knowledge as a defense but never attack.”
5 Tips for Dealing with Your Tough Customers
- Let Customers Communicate First
Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle at Forbes highly recommends letting the upset customer talk first. Give them time to vent to you, and show that you are listening. That means giving them your full attention and not focusing on your phone, calendar, or worrying about what you want to eat for lunch. Sometimes just giving them your undivided attention and showing your willingness to help resolves the conflict right there.
- Show Your Empathy
You cannot have excellent customer service if you have no empathy. Therefore, you must demonstrate your understanding through body language, eye contact, and verbal cues. Empathy goes a long way and shows the customer you care (and understand), what they are going through.
- Do Not Apologize to That Customer
Despite the issues the client has, you do not have to apologize. Saying that you are “sorry” is often misinterpreted by the upset customer as you showing your weakness. Therefore, use filler words that do not say “sorry,” such as “unfortunately.”
Let the customer know that you are aware of the issue, understand their frustrations and that you will do what you can to make it right.
- Stay Calm, No Matter How Irrational the Customer
It is hard to remain calm while someone on the other line or in your face is yelling at you, but you need to remember to keep your voice low, your demeanor calm, and the characteristics you display will eventually help them to settle down too.
- Remember, Business Problems are Not Personal Problems
Never take what a customer says personally. Even if it is a business you built from the ground up, the customer has an issue with your company; not you personally. If you are being attacked on a personal level, it may trigger you into defending yourself. However, Entrepreneur’s Sherrie Campbell highly recommends using strategies to divert away and get back to the business problems at hand.
Additionally, you can create and enforce a proper customer service workflow to ensure proper and efficient handling of each specific issue. The faster you can get a difficult customer in touch with the right person at your organization, the more quickly their problem is resolved.
Do you have any difficult client stories to share? Leave a comment and let us know what worked for you.