It goes without saying that with every business comes a steady stream of difficult customers. Whether it is in-person clients or online consumers, there are always customers who are hard to manage. The sighs of frustration, the angry emails or just the extremely complex queries – it can all add up and seem like an impossible problem to fix. The saying goes “the customer is always right”, so how can businesses handle the difficult ones more easily?
Have a clear process of how to deal with queries
It is important to try and take stress away from your employees wherever possible. Having a clear step-by-step process of how to deal with each query may seem impractical. However, when under the pressure of dealing with a difficult customer, it will be easy to follow and take the negative emotions away from the situation.
Regular staff training
Once you have clear processes, be sure to train staff so that they are clear on what to do, allowing them to implement the correct protocol when dealing with a difficult customer. Training should be collaborative and regular, allowing for feedback and updates. In the long term this will also set a consistency level for your customer service, making it more likely to retain customers in general, and prevent difficult customers arising.
Empathise and Sympathise
Remember your staff and customers are only human. Be empathetic towards the customer and sympathise with their problems, as this will diffuse the situation and allow you to see the business from their perspective and gain useful feedback. As a result of this, you will feel more confident when faced with another difficult customer in the future.
Being a supportive boss helps employee productivity. So, listen closely to your staff and take on whatever it is that they tell you. It might be that your information is not clear from the customers perspective, or that it is difficult to find answers to queries using the software you currently use. Supporting them and trusting their feedback will as a whole, improve customer experience with your business.
Easy to use software
Most companies use many different pieces of software for their customer services communications, making it time consuming to get the information you need. Instead of using multiple separate applications for communication with your customers, consider investing in a single integrated package like Horizon Collaborate.
Streamlining your communications will make the sharing of information efficient, allowing employees to handle difficult customers quickly. This is also an area to potentially cut costs, as this software will allow staff to be more productive and cut your overall IT expenditures.
Dealing with difficult customers will never be as easy as having “do’s” and “don’ts”. However, having clear processes taught through regular staff training, being empathetic and supportive and changing software will go far towards making things a lot easier.
Nobody likes having to arrive at a job where they know they’ll have to deal with difficult customers. In a similar way, customers simply will not return to a place that gave them such a hard time. By harmonising these two elements, your business will be greeted with happy staff and satisfied customers – everyone wins.