When you work with the public, you interact with all kinds of people, personalities, and temperaments—all with disparate needs and agendas. As a result, no matter what industry you are in or what kind of service you provide, you’re likely to encounter customers who are difficult to handle. It’s a fact of the workplace—one you’d best learn to deal with expertly.
That’s because, difficult or not, your customers are still your customers—and it’s your job to meet their needs. So learn from HR professional and leadership trainer Mary White how to effectively deal with difficult customers and still provide great customer service.
After all, providing effective customer service doesn’t mean giving in to any and every customer request—particularly when a demand is unreasonable. However, doing your job well does require taking steps to ensure customer needs are met. This isn’t a “the customer is always right” kind of training. Because customers are not always right. And neither are you! Everyone is wrong sometimes. So learn not to focus on right versus wrong but rather on managing, neutralizing, and even preventing tense customer interactions.
With White’s counsel, you’ll be better equipped to maintain control when faced with a difficult customer. Plus, you’ll know how to recognize when a customer situation is likely to escalate and which response skills to deploy to subdue the situation. Get better prepared to face customers with a smile—and a sound conflict-resolving strategy!
- Recognize customer anger and respond appropriately
- Avoid taking customer negativity personally (and remember you make mistakes, too!)
- Maintain an appropriate demeanor
- Set smart boundaries
- Keep expectations realistic
- Show empathy
- Turn on your listening skills
- Respond to various tension-causing interactions effectively
- Structure messages for problem solving
- Move past difficult customer encounters
- Customer service representatives
- Sales & retail professionals
- Call center associates
- Front desk associates
- Hospitality workers
- Training managers
- Talent development specialists
- Business owners