4 Tips for Dealing with and Surviving Rude Customers
~by Bryan Peterson~
These days, quality customer service is often what sets a company apart from its competitors. No one is willing to put up with poor customer service when there’s another company two miles up the road that offers the same service. Every person in retail knows that they’ll deal with irate customers at some point or another, but that doesn’t make getting yelled at and insulted any easier.
Remember also that there’s a difference between an unhappy customer and a rude one. If someone is upset about the quality of a product or service, he or she is perfectly entitled to be. But sometimes there are customers who are angry and accusatory no matter how accommodating you try to be.
Here are four tips for not letting rude customers ruin your day.
1. Remain calm, cool and collected
Whatever you do, it’s critical that you keep a handle on your emotions. Getting into a screaming match with a customer does nobody any good, and may in fact do you a great deal of bad if there are repercussions from your employer. Remember, losing control of yourself means losing control of the situation.
2. Show them you care
Acknowledge the validity of their feelings and make your sincerity evident on your face and in your voice. People pick up on attitude through tone of voice and body language, and oftentimes what you say isn’t as important as how you say it.
The customer wants to be heard and understood. Give them your full attention. Be an active listener by asking questions and repeating or paraphrasing some of what they say. Remember, body language is important. Sit up straight and maintain eye contact.
4. Do you best to solve the problem
If solving their problem isn’t in your job description, don’t let the customer know it. Keep them talking and get all the information you can, and then do what you can to fix it. But if you really are unable to help them, find them someone who can. Don’t make promises you don’t have the ability or authority to keep.
If you are a manager, remember that it is your duty to step in if the customer crosses the line from rude to abusive. It’s important that you support your associate and make it clear to the customer that the associate has been following store policy.
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Bryan Peterson is a Community Outreach Specialist at ROI Call Center Solutions. Bryan’s focus includes writing about technology, business management and anything that interests him. Bryan is committed to helping individuals discover new ideas and expand their horizons.