March 24, 2010
Dealing With Difficult Customers – Internal & External
Test YourselfWhen you head to the gym, your muscle tissue grows because it is strained and then repaired. Think of dealing with difficult customers in the same way; they test your patience and skills and then you can learn. You will learn more from these people than any manual can ever teach you. For those “unlucky” ones that haven’t had to deal with a difficult customer here are some quick and easy tips we’ve learned from the battle field:
- Listen: If the customer didn’t care about doing business with you, they would have never contacted you. They are there to be heard and want to know you care enough to listen. Let them talk and don’t interrupt them. They may be angry, but listen to what they are saying to get their side of the story.
- Empathize: Put yourself in their shoes. Even if their complaint doesn’t fall in line with your company’s policies, try to think about how you would react to what they are going through.
- Never Point Fingers: Let’s say a customer is trying to return a pair of shoes. Yes, it’s past the 30 day refund period — yes they wore the shoes outside in the rain — and yes they are clearly wrong. But the minute you point the finger at them and start blaming them, you are doing a disservice to your sales skills.
- Involve Them in the Process: They are there to get some sort of “justice” so ask them, “What would make this right?” When they are focused on their solutions, they’ll most likely forget about their anger.