If you're in a customer-facing role, you will often have to deal with people who are aggressive, abusive, unreasonable or even reasonable or people who are simply stressed out. How do you make these conversations easier and less stressful for you and your customer?
Show them you understand
If you feel the customer is justified in their anger, let them know that you're on their side. Say things like "you're right" or "I'm going to prioritize this issue for you" and show them that you are their advocate within the company.
Be quick to apologize
Apologize even when it's not your fault. Nearly every customer calms down when you shoulder some of the blame but make sure you do not apologize too much and sound insincere in the process.
If a customer's rude, simply let them know that you will not respond to further inquiries until they change the way they talk to you. This way, they will have to become less abusive or threatening in order to get help.
Don't play the blame game
Even if the fault is on their side, the priority is to keep the customer happy. So never indulge in the blame game, even if the customer starts it. Tell them that resolving the problem at hand is way more important than assigning blame.
Escalate, it's okay
Escalating an issue to your manager or lead just helps because the customers feel like they're being taken more seriously. It is not a failure on your part. It just means that you care enough to see that the problem is solved, even when you are not the one solving it.
Resetting a conversation with a new face can help ease a customer's frustration. But before you pass the baton, remember to brief the new agent about everything that has happened so far. This way, the transition is seamless.
Some customers tend to think that as a young inexperienced support representative you might not be the right person to handle the problem. Some might hold a high position in their company and would not want to talk to anybody less than a vice president. But if you are the best person available to help the customer quickly, immediately establish that you are an equal and that you are qualified to solve the problem.
Train yourself in skills like anger management, stress management, and negotiation that are important to successfully manage difficult customers.
Face it head-on
Don't shy away from dealing with a difficult customer unless it's necessary. The relationship forged with a customer after a difficult conversation is much stronger than the ones forged after a nice conversation. Your most frustrated customers are your best source of learning.
Follow these tips to handle difficult customers every day and turn every hard conversation into a chance to learn more. What are the methods that you use to deal with difficult customers?