Dealing With Difficult Customers
How to Handle Difficult Customers
Customers are the life blood of any business. Unfortunately, dealing with difficult customers feels like your blood is being drained. Finding the right approach in dealing with this issue is one of the most challenging tasks for entrepreneurs and managers. It is how well you handle this kind of customers that show if your company truly has excel lent customer service.
By definition, difficult customers are unlike your usual clients. Because of this, the normal procedures would not do. You must employ different strategies for dealing with them. Here are some tips on how to manage this problem:
Stay calm and objective. When facing a customer who is raising his voice and/or using foul language, try your best to stay calm and to remind yourself that this is not personal. Only when you are not angry or emotional can you think clearly.
Listen and understand the customer. You must first know what the problem is. The objective here is to know the situation from the point of view of the customer. Just ignoring the customer will likely increase hostility. Learn to interpret his body language to better communicate with the client.
Classify the customer. There are different types of difficult customers and each should be approached differently. There are those who are basically good but become difficult because of miscommunication or unusual circumstances. On the other hand, there are customers who are really out to take advantage of the company. Giving in to this customer’s demands may encourage future repetition of the undesirable behavior.
Turn difficult customers to satisfied clients. Address the concerns of the client if possible, and overcompensate as a sign of apology if the fault is with the company. Always fulfil your promises and do not make promises that you do not intend to keep.
Know when to let go of a customer. The customer is not always right. If, even with your best efforts, the customer remains abusive, it may be time to assess if it is worth the bother to continue dealing with him. In the case of customers who intentionally create trouble, it may be better to just find another customer if the financial impact is not substantial. Such types of customers, if retained, may demoralize your employees, which in turn would affect their performance.
Prevent problems from recurring. Learn how to anticipate problems and to institute procedures to both prevent the problem from occurring and to best handle the situation if it occurs. Be proactive instead of waiting for problems before reacting.
Skills in handling difficult customers are crucial to attaining customer service excellence. Not only will this satisfy difficult customers, but other clients will see the high level of your professionalism as well. This would create positive word of mouth endorsement for your company that would boost sales in the long run.
To know more about this topic, BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, conducts an excellent seminar on this entitled “How to Handle Difficult Customers.” Call (2)727-5628/8860, (915) 205-0133, or visit website www.businesscoachphil.com for details.
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*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. C-4, Sunday, December 15, 2013. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.