To win over difficult customers, you need to practice specific skills.
If you are looking to gain new skills in customer service, consider joining a Customer Service Training Course delivered by pd training in Wellington and other cities in New Zealand.
To handle difficult customers, you must not be judgmental. If you have negative feelings towards a customer(s), no matter how much you try to cover it with training, it will show. Therefore, it is essential to consider customers as customers, nothing more and nothing less, irrespective of their attitude. Professionalism in your thoughts will help you to overcome negative reactions that may hamper resolution efforts.
Draw a Line
You need to draw a line between what is considered acceptable behaviour and what is not. If a customer turns abusive, you need to take corrective action. On the other hand, if a customer is critical, even excessively critical, you must provide them with the maximum help that you can.
Drawing a line between acceptable behaviour and unacceptable behaviour will help you to quickly and correctly respond to difficult situations. You may also consider where to seek help from in case a customer turns aggressive.
Identify the Cause of the Problem
Whenever you face a difficult person, consider the reason for his/her unhappiness. It might be that the customer is not usually difficult, but something is causing him/her to be. Is the customer angry because the product/service did not match expectations? Was the delivery late? Is the customer unhappy with the service provided? If you cannot determine any cause that you may have knowledge of, give the benefit of the doubt to the customer. Maybe s/he had a bad day. Try to resolve the problem of the customer as best as you can.
Understanding the reason of the problem will help you to avoid reacting to negativity with negativity. It will provide you the patience to help the customer and rationally resolve the problem at hand.
Listen More, Talk Less
When dealing with difficult people, it pays to listen more and talk less. Remember that the more you say, the more the other person gets the chance to attack you. Keep your communication formal and to-the-point. Avoid making promises that you cannot keep, but, at the same time, provide the customer important information on the resolution of the problem. Remain positive and patient throughout.
Many times, customers just need to be listened to. Expressing their problem/criticism will sometimes be sufficient to make them gain back their calm.
Use Humour to Cope
To overcome any difficult situation, humour helps. Faced with a difficult customer, see the situation from a larger perspective. It will automatically make the difficulty of the present seem small. If the aggression of a customer has hurt you, use humour to heal yourself of the negativity. Using humour while conversing with colleagues or customers will also help you to stay relaxed and build positivity around you.
Identifying the Positive
There is no bad situation that does not have a positive. Train yourself to see the positive in a difficult situation. When you handle each difficult customer, you are becoming a stronger person that can think rationally even when others are not. Take pride in yourself when you handle a difficult customer successfully.
Identifying and focusing on the positive will automatically reduce/remove the impact of the negative. It will help you to increase your job satisfaction, improve your ability to handle difficult people at work and in life, and provide you more control over your own emotions and reactions.
Pdtraining delivers 1000’s of professional development courses each year in Wellington, Auckland, Napier, Christchurch, Hamilton, Dunedin and Tauranga, so you can be assured your training will be delivered by a qualified and experienced trainer.
All public Customer Service Training courses include am/pm tea, lunch, printed courseware and a certificate of completion. Customised courses are available upon request so please contact pdtraining on 1300 121 400 to learn more.