10 Things To Do When Handling a Difficult Customer

As an entrepreneur, one way or another you have dealt with difficult customers. Regardless of how your customers treat you, the life of your business depends on them. This change in perspective is necessary to navigate interactions with them. Yes, we get you, it’s difficult to always try to take the high road especially if some customers can be abusive. We have prepared this short guide with what we’ve learned so far. We hope this helps. 🙂

1. It begins with you.

You do not have control over when and how your customers will communicate. You should not aim for control in the first place for that puts you in a dominating frame of mind. Customers are people you should be helping. The right perspective will help you be better adjusted even if things do get unsetting.

Have no ego. Or at least manage it. Approach each interaction with no prejudice or irritation. Take this opportunity to develop into the kind of person that can handle stress.

2. Be sincere.

You are dealing with another human being who like you needs empathy. When in doubt, remember the Golden Rule. If you were the customer, you would expect sincerity.

3. Let them vent.

Do you want to cover with your hand a pot that is boiling? Allow your customers to vent. Let their emotions pass as you filter through what they want you to understand.

Some angry customers may want to bait you into responding at their own level but you know better. You cannot help them when your judgment is also clouded by negativity.

Even if they are wrong and the problem does not exist, to them it is real.

4. Listen. Really listen.

During the conversation, understand where and why the customer is hurting. It helps to ask clarifying questions.

5. Everyone is watching.

Assume that all your present and future customers are witnesses to each conversation. This will help you have a long-term view and not be reactive. Reputation is everything and each interaction either improve it or ruin it.

6. The customer is not always right.

And it does not matter. You have more to lose by having a negative relationship. It’s very easy for upset customers to spread rumors about your business, true or not.

7. Give your best.

Think of them as a close relative who asked for your help. You won’t give them half-baked solutions right?

8. Summarize.

Customer conversations can sometimes be stressful for both parties. Summarize the concerns and the next steps to address these. Being calm and organized helps everyone in the conversation.

9. Thank your customers.

Customers are not a problem to be solved. They are blessings. They are giving you feedback on how to improve. They come to you in pain, hoping you can help them.

10. Let it go.

Despite your best efforts, sometimes, it is best to just let go. You are not your customers’ therapist nor are you their doormat. Obsessing over one interaction with one toxic customer takes away from the joys of the good ones.

We at Panda Prime hope this helps you have more customers and a much more pleasant 2021!

*Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels