You’ll no doubt have heard the expression “The customer is always right” and it’s something that’s been reiterated countless times on sales and service related training courses. But perhaps a more appropriate phrase should be “The customer always thinks they’re right”- and it’s that belief that you have to work with.
Just like the rest of us, customers are only human, and sometimes being human involves having a bad day or just being downright unreasonable. Even if you know you’re in the right, if you want to hold on to that custom (and it’s important that you do), the key thing is to treat them with the utmost of respect no matter how difficult they’re being. Of course, there will also be times when the customer is right- mistakes happen and we don’t all do what’s expected of us 100% of the time. The important thing when you have a furious customer, no matter who’s in the wrong, is to get them back on side as quickly as possible and provide them with a satisfying resolution.
It’s difficult and upsetting dealing with furious customers. Very few people actually enjoy being shouted at or having someone tell you you’ve done a bad job. But if you follow these simple steps the whole experience will be much easier and less stressful all round.
- Stay calm. When someone’s screaming at you, you might feel like shouting back or crying. But either response is like pouring petrol onto a bonfire, so it’s essential that you take a deep breath and stay calm throughout .
- Remember it’s not about you. The problem with front line work is that as the first port of call you’ll be the one in the firing line. Always remember the customer is complaining about the service they’ve received on the whole, not you as an individual. Don’t take it personally!
- Angry customers want to vent their frustrations, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a valid point to make. Using your listening skills properly and really getting to the bottom of the problem will help both of you get to a resolution as quickly as possible. It’s also important to show you’re listening too, so maintain eye contact, nod in all the right places and make sure your arms aren’t crossed.
- Show you understand. Whenever an angry customer is venting, it’s important that they feel that someone understands where they’re coming from. If you can demonstrate that you sympathise with how your furious customer is feeling and that you respect them as an individual, you’re halfway there.
- Say sorry. Even if you know the customer’s being unreasonable or their complaint is unjustified, it pays to just swallow your pride and apologise. Often a simple “I’m very sorry this has happened” is enough to settle a furious client, and the candidness of such a response can really stop people in their tracks.
- Offer a solution. All the apologies in the world are pointless if the customer still goes away with an unresolved complaint. As soon as you understand exactly what the issue is, it’s essential that you do something about it leave them feeling satisfied that you’ve taken their complaint seriously.
- Look after yourself. Dealing with a furious customer can be a very upsetting experience, so you’ll need to give yourself a little time out afterwards. Take a walk in the fresh air, have a cup of tea or talk it over with friends, and always remember that your own health and wellbeing is important too.
To find out more about keeping your customers happy, contact us today.