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Customer Service 101 – Tips on Handling Difficult Customers – Part 4

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Last time we looked at:-
1. Salespeople trying to sell you stuff that you did not ask for;
2. Salespeople not listening to what you ask for.
3. Listening to what the customer is saying.
4. Remaining calm and
5. Don’t take it personally.
6. Allow the customer to vent
7. Handle the problem immediately or later

Today we are going to look at the last four tips, which will bring this series to an end.

1. Never tell the customer that they are in the wrong!

Unless there are grounds for making this a legal battle in court, never ever tell the customer that they are wrong!

It is your job to give them the attention that they deserve as prospective customers, but only in a professional manner.

You are entitled to give them your professional viewpoint but you are not entitled to tell them that they are wrong! That will just lead to an “I’m right and you’re wrong” type of battle and this will just result in both the loss of the sale as well as the loss of the client, not to mention a whole lot of ‘mud-slinging’ on social media and that is never good for the Company.

2. Request their Assistance

At some time or another, in their lifetime, most customers have encountered a problem when purchasing products or services. Either it’s a faulty product or it is bad service or on occasion, both! Most customers have an opinion on the problem as well as the solution.

An angry customer can often be placated with the question “What can I do to help solve the problem?”

What you are doing in effect is asking for their assistance.

It may be something that you have thought about or even know about, but once the problem is solved, it leaves the customer feeling that they have changed something about your business for the better, that they have been heard, and that they have made a difference. That makes for a happy client and a happy client makes for a happy business!

3. Have a Plan B: Find a solution

But what if . . . your client does not have a solution, or worse yet, it is a solution that is completely outside of your policies or procedures, or worse yet, outside of the law?

Clearly, it is a ‘must’ to have a solution of your own ready before you engage with an angry client.

This is important so I will say it again . . . it is a must to have a solution of your own ready before you engage with an angry customer. The backwards and forwards between you and the angry customer does not help the situation in any way at all, so make sure that you have a solution of sorts.

Finally

4. Know the boundaries and do not cross the line!

No violence or threats should be allowed under any circumstances, not from the client and not from the staff.

This is one boundary that everyone should respect.

So that is the end of this particular series. I hope that these tips have been of some use. Next time we will tackle a different topic.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@nullviljoenconsulting.co.za

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