Handling Hostile Customers

Every one in sales has a story about a difficult customer. People on the phone offering tech support and customer service have stories that fill a novel. Difficult customers are people who have it in their nature to make accusations based on their assumptions without letting you offer them your side of the story. We all know what they are about and that can make it difficult to deal with them. It is always better to deal with them in a professional and courteous manner instead of being rude, even though many of us would love nothing better than to tell these people off! Following are some tips on how to deal with difficult customers.

  • You already know that they are angry and frustrated and want their money back. It’s not going to help the situation if the two of you proceed to talk over each other. So the first thing you do is listen.
  • Listening builds rapport. Try to listen and when they take a pause or expect you to say something, repeat back to them what they have said.
  • It always helps to listen to what you have said. Some people will also realize after they hear their words that they are acting irrationally and it will help get your point across.
  • Don’t offer them quick solutions. Think out everything you are going to say. It’s a sensitive situation, especially with other customers watching. This is a good opportunity for you to access your customer service skills.
  • Always use positive terms, don’t say negative things. It will only further escalate a bad situation.
  • Offer them a solution that is within your reach and one you can backup with proof. Don’t promise them things that are not true, like you are going to fix their refrigerator by tomorrow when you know it’s Friday and the electrician won’t work on it till Monday. This will only worsen the situation and will affect the reputation of the company.

In the end, after you have done everything within your power to satisfy a customer and they are still not happy, then there is nothing you can do. You can always offer them a different product or just let them know that you did everything you could but you are sorry that you can’t help them