How to deal with difficult customers

Working in Customer Support or Customer care can sometimes be challenging. Specially when dealing with difficult customers. People can get angry or frustrated for various reasons, and for someone working in customer support it can become difficult to try to find a solution for someone whose temper and patient are already lost.

Through this article we will share with you some hacks and tips based on behavioural psychology to help you deal with these unpleasant situations, find the best way to address a difficult customer, overcome their problem and help them, because that’s all that matters in the end.

Take a deep breath and stay calm

No matter how the conversation has escalated, don’t lose your temper. If the customer is unhappy and let emotions take the best of him/her, remember that the behaviour is not personal. The customer is probably frustrated after spending some time dealing with the issue without finding a proper solution. Keep a calm and neutral tone of voice and ask the customer to explain calmly what it the exact problem. Assure him/ her that as soon as you understand their concern you will take all efforts to resolve it.

Tell customers that you understand their frustration, but you need all the information to speed the process. When difficult customers hear that you feel their pain, they will become less enraged. But keep your promises: try your best to resolve the issue and don’t transfer the contact to someone else, unless it is strictly necessary.

The zen mind

The zen mind or the beginner mind is a strategy of thinking that makes you approach every situation as if it is new to you. This way it will keep you from having assumptions about a issue or circumstance and address it with fresh eyes and mind. Thoughts like “the customer should have…” will stay out of your mind and you will be able to listen to the problem without attributing culpability to someone and adopt a defensive posture.

Your Customers Are Not Always Right, But They Are Always The Customer.

Stephen Hyke

This approach also keeps you from address the situation from a dominant point of view. Just think of the circumstances as something totally new, not only the difficult customers but also the product or service. This way, you won’t make false assumptions of this particular difficult customer and have pre conceived ideas of what he/she should have done. You will focus on the present and consider only the hypotheses that can work as a solution.

Keep to the facts

Either it is a call or in person, when a difficult customer engages in a tone that is becoming a little aggressive, just keep things factual. This means that you need to ignore the tone and the attitude (which have nothing to do with your person) and keep to the facts. Repeat the information that you can get from their enraged speech and ask questions about it.

When enraged, a person’s speech tends to be confusing and have lack of details. So, in order to explain everything to you, the customer will have to calm down a bit and focus their line of thought to explain and answer to your questions. Once they see your focus is to find a solution to their issue, their attitude to you will switch.

Be clear with your communication

With this type of customers, you have to adopt an assertive posture and perform a clear and emphatic speech. Avoid words like maybe, perhaps, that show uncertainty about the information that you are giving. If you are not sure about something, find the answers before you pass false information. Choose words that show that you are oriented to find a solution and adapt your language to a positive connotation.

Be straightforward about product details and policies so the customer will not have further surprises and becomes even more unhappy with your services. Also, give your customers a real timeline of the product’s resolution. This way, they will know what to expect.

Remember, customers are just people like you: they are humans. Keep in mind that their attitude towards you is not personal and they are just frustrated with the lack of a solution.

If your company is struggling with a solution to direct customer’s contacts and manage them in an easy and uncomplicated way, visit Okomo’s website. Our software can be integrated in your website and it will open a new channel of communication between your customers and your team of experts. People will be able to contact you in a more direct way and address their concerns in a straightforward channel of communication: from a human to another.

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