Although most customers are easy to deal with, there are always a few that stick out like a sore thumb. These are the ones that are always looking to cause trouble, no matter what it takes. While you may not want to deal with these situations, it goes along with the territory no matter what industry you work in.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to better deal with a difficult customer.
Take this situation for example. An angry customer calls you on the phone, wondering why they have yet to receive an order in the mail. The screaming goes on and on, and with each passing moment your blood pressure continues to rise.
Your first thought may be to act the same way, firing back at the person in an attempt to “set them straight.” As good as this may feel while doing it, you know that it is wrong.
You need to act with courtesy and respect, no matter how you are being treated. After all, they are the customer (albeit a very bad one).
Get their Side of the Story
There is a good chance that you know what the customer is complaining about. There is also a good chance that you disagree with what they are saying. But guess what? You can’t do anything about that just yet.
You need to sit back, listen to their side of the story, and collect your thoughts based on what you are hearing. In other words, let the person “blow off some steam” and then you can talk.
Offer a Solution (Have a Backup Plan)
At some point, the angry customer is going to ask “what can you do for me?” When this happens, you need to have a solution in mind.
Additionally, you should have at least one backup plan that you can turn to. Even if you think your solution is a good one, the customer may not agree. If you can immediately turn to a backup plan, it will be much easier to agree on a resolution.
Even when you do your best to avoid difficult customers, there is no hiding forever. At some point you will be faced with this situation. When the time comes, use the the three tips above to your advantage.
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