How to deal with difficult customers

One skill you have to learn to do business effectively is customer service. With fantastic customer service, your business can grow a dedicated customer base that refers other customers to you. When interacting with your customers, you should possess excellent customer service skills as it comes in handy when dealing with difficult, demanding and challenging customers. 

We have all heard the saying – Customer is king. Without any doubt, the customer is the most priced asset in the enterprise. Customers drive revenues; without them, businesses cannot continue to exist. No business can do without customers, so you have to keep your customer satisfied. 

When speaking with customers frequently, vocal and written communication skills are fundamental. Communicating your solutions to their problems clearly and effectively helps the customer feel like they are being cared for well and that you have their best interest in mind. 

Some customers can be challenging to deal with, and it is your job as a business owner to turn a negative situation into a positive one. It’s easier to keep your customers happy than attract new ones. The goal of every business is to encourage the customer to become a promoter of your business. You can achieve this because of how well you handle their frustrations. It’s important to note that difficult customers can be angry, indecisive, or demanding.

  • Listen and apologise

Listen to every word and complaint. Give your customer ample time to express themselves before you respond to them. Allow your customer to communicate what they’re feeling and experiencing. It’s your job to listen. An difficult customer is very likely to raise their voice, but you can’t do that. It would be best to remain calm and controlled instead of reciprocating their anger. Lastly, remember that the key to listening to your customers is doing something with that information. It would be best to act on what you hear and what customers say. 

Saying you’re sorry is critical to saving a terrible customer experience. Apologising isn’t a show of weakness. Instead, it means you’re taking the acknowledgment of where the failure occurred and finding a solution for them—moreover, rendering a heartfelt apology to a customer demonstrates empathy. It is essential to practice compassion toward your difficult customer to allow you to understand their present emotional state and respond accordingly. 

  • Tell them how you’ll solve the issue

Remember to set a timeline for them to manage their expectations. One significant way to develop or manage customer expectations is by telling them specific next steps. If your customer knows when you will resolve their problem or issue, they won’t need to call you every hour for an update. For example, if the customer complains about failed delivery, assure them of the expected delivery date. 

After helping a client, make sure to ask them if there are any other problems or concerns. You can also let the customer know that you still respect and appreciate having them as a customer. Inform the customer to expect a follow-up call or email 24 hours after the appointment to ensure everything is well.

About the author

Ebuka Akara

Hi. I’m Ebuka Akara. A Product Manager with vast experience in Digital Marketing and Communications.

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