How do you handle unhappy customers?

11 March, 2013

How do you handle unhappy customers?

hot tech support dudeWe’ve all been on one side or the other of an unhappy conversation, right?
When your customer thinks your product or service isn’t delivering on a promise, you may find that every single thing that’s been bothering them in life is now channeled into a conversation with you. So, how do you handle it?

- Adjust Your Mindset
All that matters is that you realize that your customer or client is upset, and that it’s up to you to solve the problem. Adjust your mindset so that you’re giving 100 percent of your focus to your client, and to the current situation.

- Attitude is everything in creating satisfied customers
Even the most angry customer will usually calm down when dealing with someone who is obviously doing their best to understand the customer’s situation. If you truly listen to a customer complaint, valid or not, the customer will at least feel as if they are being heard. Sometimes that’s enough to for your customer.

- Keep calm, most angry people say things they don’t really mean. Learn to let those things pass.

-  Be patient, and let them get it all out. Never try to interrupt.

- Repeat your customer Concerns
Repeating the problem shows the customer you were listening, which can help lower his anger and stress levels. More than this, it helps you agree on the problem that needs to be solved.

- Be Empathic
Once you’re sure that you understand your client’s concerns, be empathic. Show him/her you understand why he/she is upset.
And, make sure that your body language also communicates this understanding and empathy.

- Solutions
By the time you get to this step, their anger should have cooled enough to discuss the challenge rationally. If it hasn’t, tell them you want to schedule a later meeting, even if it’s in an hour, to come up with some reasonable solutions.

- Take Action
Once you’ve both agreed on a solution, you need to take action immediately. Explain every step that you’re going to take to fix the problem to your client.

- Agree to a realistic time frame that you know you can handle. The biggest mistake you can make is to agree to something that can’t be done. If you do, you’d better be ready to face another bout of this person’s anger when you don’t come through.

- Follow-up
Once the situation has been resolved, follow up with your client over the next few days to make sure that she’s happy with the resolution.

Dealing with difficult customers can be challenging. But if you handle the situation well, you may even be able to improve your relationship, and create further opportunities.

Have something to add to this list? Share it in the comments.