DEALING WITH CUSTOMERS EFFECTIVELY
"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." - Bill Gates
Customer service sets great businesses apart from the rest. Customers are the reason that businesses exist. Keeping those customers happy means being responsive to their needs and wants.
A good customer service experience can turn a one-time customer into a life-long repeat customer. People like to share their good experiences, which can turn into positive word-of-mouth for your business. Many of us have to deal with angry or unhappy clients as part of our roles, and it's never easy. But if we know what to say and, more importantly, how to say it, we may be able to save the situation. We can even end up with a better relationship with our client than we had before. What makes a client difficult? Some want to tell you how to do your job? Others may want you to do their job and yours. Some just have no respect for you. And some are just nasty pieces of work.
In this article, we'll explore how to deal with angry or difficult customers. We will highlight specific tips and techniques that you can use to smooth things over so that you can leave them feeling satisfied.
Excellent customer service starts with the business owner but involves all of the employees in an organization. Conduct special training sessions dedicated to customer service so that your employees know how to handle themselves, keep a cool head, answer common questions and know who to refer more complex issues to. Empower employees to provide strong customer service by giving them the skills to work well with customers.
Follow the Rule
Remember the adage: "The customer is always right." Do everything possible to keep every customer satisfied. Replace products or restore services without charge when necessary. Correct any billing or other errors promptly. Follow up on complaints by asking the customer about the response. Do formal or informal surveys to ask customers for suggestions -- you may get some excellent ideas.
Listen more, talk less
A great way to handle difficult clients is to deflect attention and answer a question with a question. It will keep your client talking. It may be more like a monologue and less like a conversation but you’ll learn a lot about them and help you avoid topics that push your buttons.
Try not to complain
This can be hard but don’t complain about how difficult your client is to manage. Complaining trains the brain for negativity It will be impossible to move on from your negative feelings if you perpetuate them.
Experiment with Discounts
Discounts are always a great incentive to get people to buy from you. You can just have a page on your website where you display the first-time buyer discount code– or any other discount codes for that matter. You could also send customers emails to let them know about the various discounts.
It shows them you care and go the extra mile for them.
Take a break
Recharge your positive energy by taking time out from your difficult client and instead work with a client you do like. It will be an energy-boosting reminder that not everyone is as difficult to manage and some clients appreciate you.
If you have tried your best and done everything you know-how and it’s just not working out – then wave the white flag. Let your workmates or manager know you feel it is best for you and the client. Do not feel embarrassed, ashamed, or a failure. It happens. At least know you did your best to make the relationship work, which is all anyone can do.
"These customers are coming to you because they are looking for answers, and while they may not always do it most diplomatically, you are allowed to gain the trust of somebody whose trust you didn't have beforehand. Do not let angry customers throw your team off. Take the time to develop customer service and conflict management skills to defuse difficult situations.