In any service-oriented industry, business owners frequently deal with upset, irate, frustrated and sometimes impossible customers. This can be a very challenging situation and you risk losing customers if you fail to calm them down. But learning to handle these situations will also help you improve your customer relations and give you better opportunities for growth. Here are some pointers that you can practice on dealing with difficult customers and resolve their issues satisfactorily.
Take it professional
Difficult customers are likely to have strong emotions when they are displeased or unsatisfied with your products or service. They’d want to unload their rants on you and you can expect them to yell or curse at you. Don’t let them get under your skin even if they are being rude or unrealistic, keep in mind that your customers are always right even if they are sometimes wrong. Allow them to vent out and ignore personal attacks. Never argue with your customers.
Listen to Them
Pay attention to what they are saying when dealing with difficult customers. Hearing is really not enough – show them that you are genuinely interested with their issues and serious about solving them. Avoid interrupting their rants or try to fix the issue while they are still speaking. Repeat your customers’ complaint so that they know that you understand their concerns.
Empathize and Apologize
Try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and show them that you “understand” what they are saying. By letting them know that you sincerely “feel the same way” could be very helpful in winning your customers favor. Apologize for the trouble caused but don’t overdo it to avoid annoying your customer.
Give them Solution
Like first aid, you can suggest options on how to correct the situation. They love options and compromises when needed. When dealing with difficult customers, ask them what would make them feel better and work with them to come up with a doable solution. Once you have an agreement, apply it immediately and explain in detail the steps you need to take to correct their issues.
Even after you’ve solve the issues, don’t forget to follow it up to ensure that your customer is satisfied. If possible, go the extra mile and send them a discount coupon or gift certificate that they can use on their next purchase.
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