“It takes months to find a customer and seconds to lose one.”
Customers are the most important foundation of the business. They are the ones who help you to survive in the market. Business is set up in order to fulfill the needs and wants of the customers with the focus of gaining profit in return. Every business concentrates on attracting the target customers as there are huge options left for the customers in the present competitive market.
There was a time when the business setups focussed on “sell what you can make”. But the present business world has attained massive revolution and the business itself focuses on customer satisfaction rather than other factors. Every business wants to provide the best products or services and maintain good relationship with their clients and customers.
You would have meet thousands of people with different attitude and behaviour in your daily life. Many a times you get impressed by few and you might have also felt, why is this individual so annoying? Same applies in the types of customers that the sales and customer service handles.
You should know the fact that though you provide the best product or service for your customers and also spend quality time to provide good customer service, you cannot satisfy each and every customer.
Difficult Customers experience scenarios:
- Impatient Customer:
Situation – The impatient customer is one who will be waiting in the line for a longer time than usual, they might be running later for their next appointment or also might be restless while you will be searching for a solution to their problem.
How to handle – Be clear and to the point without being dismissive of their outward behavior. Explain to them transparently why there is a delay without giving specifics. Make sure that the impatient customer knows that the effort is being invested in resolving the situation. Frame your answers in a positive way.
- Angry Customer:
Situation – An angry customer will simply be not satisfied with the end result, and rectifying the situation will not help or will worsen the situation.
How to handle – Begin the conversation by apologizing for the issue. Try to resolve the situation by addressing points of the cause for the complaint regarding the subject in the hand. Remember to keep it brief.
- Vague customer :
Situation – The customers come to your business without having an idea of what they need. They might have difficulty articulating the problem or also they may not understand the situation of their options. When you ask questions to get to know about the situation, the answers don’t help or it may still add more confusion to the situations.
How to handle – Vagues customer pointed and specify the questions about their needs. Ask the questions in a way that you should get to know the bottom of the situation, so you don’t need to spend much time while other customers will be waiting.
- The customers that demand for refund –
Situation – This type of customer is one who will be unhappy or disappointed with the product or service so that they will request their money back.
How to handle – Each and every company will have its own refund policy, also the regulations of what items can be taken back. While the best course of action will be to provide the refund in full or part of it and your company wants to offer a credit in future purchases. If you’re providing the refund, be clear about when it was processed and how long they can expect it to take.
How to handle difficult customers you encounter in your business?
1. The all time “complainer”
Complaints are normal and when your customer complaints about any problem that he/she is facing with your products or services, you get a response about what the customer thinks about your product. Thus, these feedbacks will help you to improve your products or services in the future time period.
But when you come across a customer who has problems every single time he/she makes a purchase though the product or service provided is good enough and has also satisfied a huge customer group, you tend to get annoyed. You label the customer to be an “all time complain machine”. They will complain about anything and everything. Thus, handling them can be a very challenging task.
2. The “I know it all” customer
They are another kind of customers who are filled with knowledge about everything and anything. And more importantly they will showcase their knowledge and try to be dominant in the conversation. Though their talks may make you feel they know more than you about your own product or service and make it difficult for you to handle them.
3. The “silent”
The silent customers are the ones who know what they want but will not give you the exact information about their needs and wants. You will have to take the initiation of asking en number of questions in order to understand their requirements.
4. The “bully”
The bully ones are the people who are angry and aggressive in their conversation for various reasons like may be the product or service provided was not up to their expectations or they require immediate responses and solutions for their problems. They try to dominate the conversation by being rude and arrogant through which they feel they may get attention or get what they want.
5. The “No boundaries”
The no boundaries customers are the ones who tend to forget that the customer service reps are also humans who possess a normal lifestyle. They expect responses even on a Sunday or even at 11 pm in the night. These customers make you feel overwhelmed in your personal time.
It’s normal that you come across difficult customers from time to time. And you always wish to know about, how to handle difficult customers? The only challenge is to handle them carefully. As a sales team or a customer service team, your ability and level of quality is defined by successfully handling and controlling your tough customers.
So now that we have discussed about the types of tough customers, let us also understand how we need to handle them in order to at least partially satisfy them and retain them in the business.
Read our blog – Why Customer Complaints Are Good For Your Business
How to manage the tough customers?
Be patient and calm
Your customer’s attitude or way of talking is not in your hands, but yours is. So be patient and calm when your customer is speaking. You may feel annoyed, frustrated, angry or depressed but do not show your emotions. Your customer may be yelling at you, criticising your product or service or being dominant in the conversation. But you need to maintain calmness and not lose patience during the conversation or else it will result to a tug-of-war between you and your customer.
Some tips to be polite with your customers:
- If you are having a face-to-face conversation, have a smile on your face.
- Be genuinely interested in the conversation.
- Avoids slang or words that may be offensive and be careful of sarcasm or humour.
- See to that the argument is not between you and your customer; instead you, your customer with the problem.
Do not make them feel they are a tough deal
There are few specimens who may create a feeling of panic and pressure in you knowingly. But do not get into stress or anxiety, present yourself with a smile and be confident when you talk because they are the ones who require such products or services that you provide.
Listen when they say
Let your customers speak what they wish to tell. When you keep on talking even more than them, it may irritate the customers and also make them feel they are being forced to purchase. Do not interrupt them because many a times they just want you to listen to what they say. When the customer sees that you are a good listener, he/she will also show the same interest when you talk.
Some tips to follow while listening to your customers are –
- If you are having a face-to-face conversation, maintain eye-contact with your customers.
- Ask questions when required in a way that depicts you are interested in listening to your customer and are trying to provide a solution for the customer problem.
- Do not check your phone or look elsewhere when they are talking.
Read our blog – How to Create a Customer Centric Strategy For Your Business
“A sorry” can be very effective in difficult times. Sorry does not always mean that you are wrong and your customer is right but it also means that you are not willing to lose the customer relationship (seller-buyer relationship). This four letter word can help you to retain your tough customers. Incase the customer is facing any issue or problem, be apologetic and ensure them that the issue will be resolved at the earliest.
Some tips to follow when you are apologetic to your customers –
- Use the right tone in the conversation that depicts you are genuinely apologizing for the inconvenience.
- Move out from the game of blaming anyone.
- Once you are sorry for the inconvenience, ask them what solution can be provided to them or what do they expect from the organisation.
Make them feel they are important
Treat your customers right at the right time because it helps you to maintain a good relationship with them. Your tough customers are also humans with feelings and emotions. Every customer likes to be valued even if its by simple ways. Send personalised discounts, offers or special day wishes to make them feel that they are in the top most priorities.
Some tips to follow while you want to make your customers feel important are-
- Be thankful because expressing gratitude is the basic humanity.
- Respond at the right time without much delays.
- Ask them for feedback and how they can improve their products or services.
Say “no” with politeness when required
Handling the tough customers is no less than a challenge and when you need to say “no” to these customers can be one of the most difficult tasks for you. So, when there are instances where you need to say “no” to them, be polite enough and ensure that you value them but are unable to fulfill their expectations.
Stand still on your words
While interacting with your customers make sure that you stick to what you say. There may be instances where your tough customers try to show that your competitors are better than you. Your customers may feel it is one such tactic to get discounts or price cutoffs. But do not fall into them. Put forward all the required information and tell why you are different from your competitors.
Read our blog – Importance of Service Management Software
Yes, it is true that even sales reps and customer service reps are humans and even they have emotions. But if you want to be in the business you need to deal with your tough customers. Indeed your unsatisfied customers are a great source of learning. In a world of social media and reviews it becomes your atmost responsibility to follow up your customers and solve their inconveniences. Never forget that your customers can market your product or service more better than you can. So when you are successful in resolving customer problems they will surely spread it to four more people which in turn increases your customer service quality.