The customer is never wrong – and some customers take this to heart. What can you do when faced with a difficult customer? Before simply refusing their business, you should consider the cost of doing so in terms of dollars and the impact this might have on your reputation.
There are some things you can do to try avoiding difficult customers, like sensible customer profiling and gathering customer information before entering into a business relationship. Although these things mainly apply to long-term customer relationships and not one-time shoppers, a poor fit between a customer’s expectations and your business philosophy is always likely to foreshadow a strained relationship. So regardless of whether you are dealing with a regular or a unique client, it helps to have a clear idea of what customer service tactics you can apply so that your business reputation does not get compromised.
The Role of Management
Customer service training is important. This is an area where senior management and HR play a key role. Trainers and experienced customer-facing executives should guide their staffs on how to skillfully handle a customer who may be angry, rude, or irritated. Converting a disgruntled customer into a fan of your business can add tremendous value to your company.
Tactics to Manage Difficult Customers
Here are six ways in which you can defuse a hostile client situation:
Occasionally, you may have to get firm with an unruly customer and let him go. “The customer is king” is a common customer service maxim, but when faced with someone who is truly unreasonable, you should be prepared to deal with him in a firm manner. Above all else, treat each encounter with a difficult client as a learning experience and incorporate it into your next customer service interaction to improve customer satisfaction rates.