Tips for managing difficult customers
Written on the 27 November 2014 by Snap Marketing
The shops at Christmas time can only be described as one thing manic! The last minute rush for presents, followed by the post-Christmas sales, makes owning a business during the silly season pretty hard work.
As consumers struggle with the crowds, the summer heat and the panicked atmosphere they can come across as agitated and stressed, sometimes becoming difficult to deal with.As a business owner it can be trying dealing with rude or impatient customers, but it's important to keep your cool, as word of bad customer service spreads more quickly than Christmas cheer.
Here are some hot tips to help you manage difficult customers:
1. Let your customers communicate how they feel
Sometimes people cause a scene simply because they feel like they need to cause a scene. If they think they've been waiting too long, or if something they've purchased isn't exactly as expected, they'll often feel the need to voice their opinions. Let them vent.
When they've finished venting, apologise that they're unhappy with your business (even if you're not sorry or if you don't believe you're in the wrong). This simply shows them that you care about their feelings and will do all you can to increase their customer satisfaction.
2. Fix the problem as soon as you canIf you can find an immediate solution then fix your customer's problem as soon as possible. Resolving a problem in a calm, quick and friendly manner might actually do wonders for your word-of-mouth marketing. If someone buys a faulty product, they'll be annoyed and probably tell 5 or more people about it. However, if they buy a faulty product that is replaced immediately and receive fantastic customer service as well, they will tell 10 or more people about the effort the business went to in order to keep them happy.
If you can't find an immediate solution, that's okay, but assure your customer you will rectify the problem as soon as possible. Be prepared to be flexible. Don't do refunds, but want to keep your customer? Offer them alternatives; exchanges, gift vouchers or future discounts. If worse comes to worst, do the refund that's why you're the boss after all!
3. Manage customer expectations
Don't over promise and under deliver ever! If you feel like you're offering your customer something too good to be true, then you probably are. Set expectations with your customers tell them what is and isn't possible. If you under promise and then over deliver, they are likely to be highly satisfied with the outcome.Customers need to feel like the businesses they deal with genuinely care about their opinions, experiences and overall satisfaction.
So, this Christmas time when it all seems like a bit much. Take a deep breath and remember to try and spread that Christmas cheer. It's hard for anyone to stay angry at you if you're able to make them smile.