Customer is king, but sometimes, it might be necessary to de-crown the unruly ones. Your business might be doing well and you are getting great reviews yet on occasion, a client can become so rude that it can put your hard work to test.
Before you start looking for strategies to deal with a difficult client, the first step should be to sort unhappy customers from disrespectful ones. If a customer is unhappy about the quality of your product or service, they are perfectly entitled to express their dissatisfaction. It is important to understand that questioning your policy or communicating their unhappiness is downright fair.
Only if things take a turn for the worse, when your client cannot control their anger and they resort to verbal abuse, should you really need to take a different road. Read on to find out how you can come out of a testing encounter with a rude customer unscathed and civil!
Keep Your Cool
It all begins with keeping your own anger in check when it comes to customer communication. We all know that it is easier said than done. But situations like these need you to be a bigger person. Keep your calm while your client rants as it can often keep you from losing a valuable client.
More often than not, all the fuss is about a bad product or service and you just happen to be an unfortunate target of their anger. So, whatever is the issue triggering it, remember to not take it personally. Instead, empathize and let them know that they are heard and you recognize how they feel.
State the Facts and Reassure Them
When explaining your company’s position, always state facts and then maintain your ground. By all means, point out in a respectful manner where your client is wrong but never insult them. Provide them with as many facts as possible to show them how they are misjudging the situation.
Do all this while still respecting their opinion and concern. Reassure them about what amends can be made and take to reflective listening by repeating what they said and asking if you have got it all correct. Half of the problem is already resolved when your client realizes that you care.
Dig Into the Problem
Sometimes when a rude customer is being unreasonably disrespectful, the actual reason behind is quite reasonable. From the beginning, take a proactive approach to get to the heart of the matter. Ask your client what they expect of you and how you can fix a problem.
Be sincere in your interaction and don’t make promises that you cannot keep. Even if when the customer is complaining about a problem that is not there, suggest a few alternatives before telling them that they might be wrong.
Know When to Drop the Client
Almost anyone who has been in business for a while knows that some clients are just no good for you. Any client that you work with should treat you with respect and no excuse can acquit them of that social responsibility. However, if your client continues to be aggressive and rude, excuse to continue the conversation later.
If the client still doesn’t budge, thank them for their business and be as respectful as possible. Your client might be even ruder upon hearing this, but you need to take the high road once more. Keep your cool and remember it is your company and only you can choose who you want to work with.
While we love to maintain our business relationships, it is important to acknowledge that some clients are just not meant to be ours. Not only can they be financially draining, they can also be emotionally exhausting. So, if a customer is nothing but trouble, put your foot down and tell them you’ve got work to do.