Resources | 3 min read
Tricky customers are challenging to deal with. If handled well, the relationship between you and the customer not only gets better but you can also open doors to opportunities in the future with them.
The rules remain the same for each customer; NEVER argue, interrupt or jump to a solution quickly without focusing on the pros/cons.
It’s vital for a business to communicate with their customers to create a long-lasting, healthy relationship with them.
When a customer knows their demands are being met and emotions understood, they will always try and go back to the same service provider. Of course, one must make sure the demands are being met – but not at the cost of their business suffering. Making the customer temporarily happy and satisfied never works in the long run if this isn’t aligned with your business ethos and objectives.
For instance, an angry customer requests a refund for an item without a receipt. Instead of repeating the company policies bluntly, you can offer another item as a replacement instead, should your policy permit. It’s this solution focused thinking that will help your customers understand you are there to help. Nothing is more infuriating to a customer then being faced by a “robot” who is unable to provide a solution and simply states “policy doesn’t allow me to do that”.
Be empathetic and apologise
e; explain how unfortunate it is for the item to be damaged and how you’ll try your best to make sure it doesn’t happen again. What you say matters a lot to customers, but HOW you say it matters the most.
You’ve heard this before, honesty is the best policy. Always be honest so the customer knows they’re being dealt with genuinely. If your answer is going to be unpleasant, make sure you have a reason or explanation.
Unless it is absolutely necessary, never say “no” to your customer…but remember with a “no” should come an apology and a solution. For instance, “I am sorry we currently don’t have the item xyz in stock, can I get it delivered it to you once it becomes available?” If possible suggest another item with the same features. If the customer still insists, you may even go as far as to suggest another vendor. Sounds unreasonable but they will respect the fact that their needs were given more importance than your sales – you’re showing that you genuinely care.
Getting feedback plays a major role in how your business can become better. You will not find out how and when you lost a customer if not for feedback.
After you and the customer have agreed upon a solution to the issue being faced, begin to consider what could have possibly caused all of this upset in the first place. Was the item received damaged already before displayed at the store? Did the staff handle the item carelessly? Find out the root-causes.
Always get feedback from your customers. There are many tools out there that allow you to conduct customer feedback. Warning! There is nothing more infuriating than a business who collects feedback but then contacts the customer with a solution. If you decide to conduct a feedback programme, it is imperative you set up the processes to react on the feedback collected.