How should you deal with difficult customers?

Running a business that relies on customers can be challenging from time to time. After all, all people are different in many ways and sometimes, and this can complicate communication with them. So, what is a moving business to do when faced with less cooperative and more difficult clients? Well, for starters, there’s no need to stress over this. There are plenty of simple yet practical ways to deal with difficult customers, and we are going to go through some of those today.

Recognizing difficult customers

We’ve all experienced it – the short replies, heavy sighs, crossed arms etc. Put all these together and you get the perfect formula for a conversation packed with frustration on both ends. And what’s even worse, when you get to this point in your communication, it becomes harder to keep their business with every passing minute.

Businessman with headphones on.
Take ample time to analyze and prepare for the situation.

However, one of the important things to remember here is not to take anything people say personally. Because no matter how angry they are, those frustrations are often associated with external factors and issues you have no power over. And if something you did triggers that response in them, they are simply looking for a target to focus their anger on – and that is your company, not you personally. So, the best you can do is to hear them out and read the room. Only by doing this are you able to properly deal with difficult customers.

The first step should always be early prevention

As obvious and simple as it sounds – the best way to handle difficult clients is not to have any. At this point, you might be thinking: “That’s impossible”. Perhaps it is, but it is up to you to create the ideal working conditions and services that will match everything you promise customers. By doing that, you prepare the field and yourself for any situation. As your moving business grows and expands, you will come across many types of difficult clients:

  • Angry
  • Impatient
  • Intimidating
  • Talkative
  • Demanding
  • Indecisive

No matter which of these you encounter, you have to make sure that you are professional before anything else. You might not be able to control how others feel and express those feelings but you can control your own actions and responses. By doing that, you can easily influence your customers and calm their frustrations with optimal solutions.

What are the best ways to deal with difficult customers?

Customer satisfaction leads to referrals and recommendations, which leads to more business for you, which results in higher incomes. It’s simple math. So, how can you get a customer from that “I’m reporting you and never doing business with you!” to “You guys are great and I will recommend you to all my friends”.

Learn from your colleagues how to deal with difficult customers.
Consult with others that have more experience in the area.

For starters, when a customer tries to intimidate you, stay calm and ask, “What can we do to help?“. This is the kind of simple question that can help you establish an open communication right from the start and take control over the conversation. It is especially useful when you have to deal with difficult customers that are more confused or chatty than others. Before you offer solutions, ask the customer how he/she would like the problem to be resolved. Offer choices whenever possible.

Practice restraint when you deal with difficult customers

The last thing you want to do is get into a screaming match with clients. This will only lead to additional frustration on both ends, and usually leaves customers even angrier and displeased than when they contacted you.

If you come to a point where the customer starts pressing buttons and losing control, you’ve lost control of the situation. On the other hand, if you present an uninterested front, it can be just as frustrating. All in all – composed and calm wins the race.

Listen and let the customer vent

Don’t just rush the customer with a solution – sometimes it is just as important to hear them out. Clients want their opinion to be acknowledged and understood. So, instead of looking for the fastest way out of the conversation, try to stay open-minded.

Icon of woman with headphones.
Listening plays an important part when you have to deal with difficult customers.

Modern research shows that all customers react to body language. If you are contacting directly with clients, maintain eye-contact. If you are communicating over the phone, maintain your presence at all times. Stand up or sit straight and uncross your arms to indicate your full attention. Paraphrase or repeat parts of what you hear.

Show the customer that you care and understand where they are coming from

We all seek and respond to compassion. It’s an important part of everyday life to find someone that can relate to your problems. So, even if you might not have experienced the same issue as the customer, do your best to relate. Imagine how you would react in that situation and show the customer that you care, both with attitude and body language.

Avoid throwing blame around – towards the customer or the company

Remember – it’s not important who is in the wrong – what is important is a solution to the problem. This is what it means to deal with difficult customers. When you explain the company policy or offer clarifications on the issue at hand, avoid speaking in the first person. Also, never openly admit that your moving business made a mistake and is to blame because you want to avoid lawsuits.

Businessman pointing a finger
Instead of pointing to others and blaming them, focus on solving the problem.

Most importantly, never make promises you can’t keep – try to solve the problem or get someone who can

Whatever happens, you should never tell clients that you can’t solve their problem. This can easily lead to escalations and asking for your supervisors etc. Instead, gather all the facts you can and tell the customer that you will look into the matter. If you find that you are unable to solve their problem, simply reach out to someone higher up the company structure and consult with them.

Why is it important to deal with difficult customers?

Not only does handling your customers the right way offers you a positive feedback and recommendations, but it is also a foundation for good marketing for moving companies. The way you present yourself to customers is a direct image of your brand in their eyes. So, you should always try to go that extra mile to show why you are the moving company they should do business from now on. It is this type of professionalism and devotion that wins you customers for life – remember that.

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