Dealing with difficult clients can be the most tedious part of our job as business professionals, no matter the day or customer. Add in difficult and angry clients and your job will get even harder. However, the way that you handle even the most challenging clients shows your trust client service skills.
Here are some tips to dealing with even your worst clients.
Listen to what the client has to say and do not interrupt them while they are speaking. Sometimes a client just really needs to vent and get it off of their chest. During this time, they will be unable to listen to any reasoning. Instead, just listen and take notes (if needed) so that you can remember what you want to discuss when they are finished talking.
Ask questions, even if you understand – it demonstrates caring: “Is there anything else that upset you?”, “What was your expectations?”, “What parts of your experience were satisfactory?”, “How did that make you feel?”
Empathize with them.
Explain to them that you understand how they are feeling and that you would also feel the same way that they do. “This seems very unusual, normally our service in this area is terrific, but I do understand and if that had happened to me I would be upset also.”
Speak calmly and quietly.
If you need to, stay out in the main office where everyone is so you make sure that you do not raise your voice. Do not yell or swear at the client, even if that is what they are doing to you. Instead, try to keep your voice calm the entire time.
Remember that you are talking to another person who might be having a bad day. You have them too. Remember how you feel when you have a bad day, especially when you are having an issue with a company and you feel like yelling at them too. Always remember how that does not usually solve anything.
Don’t take it personally.
Sometimes, we make mistakes. However, they might be complaining about something that is not your fault. Take a break once you get the problem solved.
Once the client is finished and you are clear in your head what you can do to make them happy ask resolving questions, “Is there any way that you think I could reasonably make it up to you?”, “What would you like to happen now?”, “How can we resolve this so you not only are happy but will come back again?” Don’t be afraid to negotiate, in a light hearted manner.
Get to the Key Resolution Item
The sooner you can get the key resolution item on the table the better – so for example if you can offer a refund or discount say that as soon as you can. “I understand that you are unhappy, how about I give you a full refund of your purchase price? Would that help?”, “Your request is reasonable, and I’d like to get it fixed straight away so how about I…”, and then ask “Is there anything else I can do to help you feel better about us?” Basically offer everything that is reasonable and within your power.
A complaining customer who’s complaint is resolved quickly and reasonably is 30% more likely to buy from your business again as it gives them confidence in your service ability.
If that doesn’t work always remember that you can fire clients. Some clients are not worth working with. Do not feel bad. Just move on.
Difficult clients will really try your customer service. You can learn a lot by watching someone work with challenging clients. Sometimes, you really need to let them vent. However, you should never raise your voice. Instead, speak calmly and emphasize with them. When the phone call is over, simply take a break and breath. Do not take it personally.
Written by Peter Spann
Peter Spann – Film Maker | Director | Business Coach | Writer | Public Speaking Coach | Presenter | Investor.
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