No business owner likes dealing with an unhappy, difficult customer. However, it’s a necessary part of business.
Knowing how to properly and effectively manage a difficult customer is essential to growing your business. You can even turn that customer into a loyal, happy customer!
Here are some tips for dealing with difficult customers.
Prepare a plan of action
Before you even respond to an unhappy customer, have a strategy in mind on how you will deal with them. This will keep you focused and relaxed in what can sometimes be a stressful situation.
Think about ways you’ve dealt with difficult customers in the past. Or look online at other business’ social media pages to see what their replies were to unhappy customers. Find some replies that inspire you and save them, in your own words, to use when needed. These are your ammunition to use to diffuse a situation or calm a customer. If you’re unable to think of a response to a customer, these saved responses can give you a good idea of the tone and language you can use.
Listen and understand
Listen to your customer’s concerns. Don’t be forming your response while they are talking. Really listen and hone in on their concerns. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If you can feel what they are feeling, you can empathize with them. This will make you sound genuine and approachable.
Acknowledge their concerns, their frustrations, and any inconveniences they may have encountered.
Summarize the problem. Responding to your customer with a summary of what they said shows that you really listened to them and are prepared to help. Most people just want to be heard and understood.
Respond in a timely manner
No one eagerly jumps into confrontations with customers. Your first instinct may be to deal with it later. Don’t do that. The more time your unhappy customer has to stew about their issues, the madder they will get.
Respond to your customers in a timely manner. Focus on the answers to their concerns and stay calm. Remember, a customer wants to feel they’re being heard.
If you have a customer yelling at you or being rude, it’s so easy to respond in kind. But remember, you can severely damage your business reputation by responding in the same manner as a rude customer.
It’s always best to respond in a calm manner with factual arguments. Don’t take your customer’s complaint personally. This is business. They’re not angry with you, just dissatisfied with a product or service.
Provide detailed steps
How are you and your customer moving forward? Be as clear and detailed as possible in what the next steps to resolution will be. Reassure your customer that you will be resolving their issue as soon as possible. There should be no doubt in your customer’s mind that you are doing everything you can to make things right. And make them a happy, loyal customer.