Archive for March, 2012

Dealing with Difficult Customers – 9 Tips

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

You know that difficult customers are part of the business landscape.  Dealing with them can be fraught with mistakes, faux pas and frustration.  However, there are ways to turn that headache client into a satisfied, lifetime customer.

Here are some things to review when dealing with the difficult:

Defuse It – Acting just like the customer will get you nowhere.  Acting professional throughout is the commendable way to go.

Clarify It – Listen and get clear on why your customer is upset.  Take notes then use those notes to review with them what they said.  It shows you understand and that you’re giving them a voice.

Acknowledge It – Sometimes commenting to your customer saying they have a right to be upset makes them less defensive and close-minded.

Help It – If customer feedback degenerates to pointless blather, step in and simply ask what you can do to help improve everything for them.  More often than not, being upfront and reasonable is enough to make most people settle down a bit and think about how you can help.  That’s all you need.

Control It – Sometimes it’s easier said then done but don’t argue back, as you’ll lose the customer if you show them your temper.  Not doing so is what they’ll remember.

Time It – Within reason, give your customer the time they need to express themselves.  You care about them, so show it by not rushing them.  They’ll notice.

Tone It – The worse thing you can do is take on a condescending tone.  Now you’ll have that issue to deal with as well.

Earn It – If you do lose your customer, staying in touch is worth trying.  Following up over time with a phone call or email, might earn them back.  Especially if they can’t find a better product or service elsewhere.

Follow It – You need to follow up with thecustomer to ensure they’re still satisfied with the agreed-upon solution.  What was the point if you don’t?

Remember – becoming difficult yourself only adds to the bad situation.  You can control your behavior.  Ensure that the mishap will not happen again and perhaps offer a discount, coupons, lunch or dinner, or something else for free.  It’s a small price to pay for a happy ending.