How to handle impossible customers

There will always be difficult clients in any kind of business, be it in a simple food cart store or an international manpower agency. The fact is, everyone is a difficult client if you are not able to handle them well or properly. But of course, there are those who are naturally hard to deal with. How you handle them is the true test of how good your customer service is. Here are some tips in handling “impossible” clients:
Remain calm and objective. When facing a hostile customer, try your best to remain calm. Never get carried away by temper or any other emotion that can lead you to make rash decisions. You can only think clearly when you are not emotional.
Understand the customer. Remember the quote: “Knowing is half the battle.” Know the problem first and understand your customer’s point of view so that you will be able to perform the necessary actions for them, or at the very least, be able to explain to them what needs to be explained. Ignoring them or missing their point will only increase hostility.
Go the extra mile. Address the problem immediately and, if possible, try to go the extra mile and provide additional effort in treating them as a sign of apology. As they say, “Introduction is what catches the attention, and ending is what leaves the impression.” So, no matter what the problem was before, make sure that before they leave your office or finish their transaction, you are able to address the problem so that they leave with a good impression of your company.
Know when to let go. Remember this: “The customer is not always right.” Sometimes, customers can be pushy and abusive. If you think the client is not worth the effort then maybe it’s time to simply move on to the next one. You might already be missing out on potential customers because of the time you spent in dealing with the previous one.
Make a record and anticipate the next one. Every time you encounter a problem with a difficult client, make a record of the incident and how you were able to solve it so that you can study and improve the way you handle the same kind of problems in the future. After all, you cannot learn from the past if you cannot even remember what happened in the past.
Finding the right approach in dealing with difficult clients will prove to be one of the most taxing and challenging jobs for any entrepreneur, but it will always be a learning experience and an opportunity for growth in building client relations. How well you handle these customers will show whether your company truly has excellent customer service.
BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, conducts an excellent seminar on the subject entitled “How to handle difficult customers.” Call (02)727-5628, (02) 727-8860, (0915) 205-0133, or visit for more details.

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*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. C-6, Sunday, May 11, 2014. 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.