It doesn’t happen often, but if you’re going to be in business, you’re going to run into some crazy people. Some of them can be disseminated, while others cannot. That’s just how things work in the corporate world.
There are some basic strategies for dealing with furious clients that won’t leave you with an ulcer or make you wish they got cancer and died!
Here are a few pointers that you might find useful…
Don’t take things too seriously
Almost all obnoxious customers have one thing in common: they’re all jerks. They try to get close to you and attack you on a personal level. It is not uncommon for people to call each other names. When you take it personally, you’re more inclined to engage in a yelling war with the customer, which accomplishes nothing and only serves to aggravate the situation. To put it another way, try to neutralize the issue by killing the fury with love. If that doesn’t work, request that they call you once they’ve calmed down and are willing to communicate rationally. Refuse to communicate with an enraged customer. You will never have to put up with abuse.
Don’t go overboard with the “customer is always right” philosophy
The customer is always right is something you’ll hear in customer service training. While this is true to some extent, there are situations when they are just incorrect. Always strive to accommodate a consumer within reason, but don’t go too far with this approach.
Recognize that it isn’t always your fault
Some folks simply had a rough day and are looking for someone to vent their frustrations on. One of these persons is frequently a vile, unsightly customer. Listen to their ranting and ravings, then answer kindly by assuring them you understand their frustration and want to work with them to find a solution. This will frequently defuse the anger and reveal the rational human underlying it.
Don’t be fooled by fear-inducing bluffs
In customer service, some employees will go to any length to avoid danger, even if it means losing money or giving in to unreasonable demands. Consider the threat’s validity when you’re threatened. Do you believe someone will pay thousands of dollars in attorney expenses to sue you over a small transaction? Probably not. Again, do your best to accommodate within reason, but don’t give in to threats that aren’t backed up by evidence.
Be ready to determine whether a customer connection is worth saving
You’ve probably heard that a satisfied customer will tell one person about your company, whereas an unsatisfied customer will tell ten or more. Without a question, word of mouth may be the best or worst kind of advertising for your company. This is the foundation of the “customer is always right” philosophy. Of course, it’s preferable to save a customer connection if possible, but only within reason.