Let’s face it, sometimes we have customers that really know how to push the limits and test our patience. Often times it is hard to stay positive and happy with these types of customers, and sometimes it doesn’t even take an irate customer to get us to our breaking point. The thing is though, you don’t have to get upset when handling customer complaints. Instead, try these 5 tips to keeping your cool when a customer complains.
1. See it from their point of view. By taking a step back and putting yourself in their shoes, you will be able to empathize with them. This will help you approach the complaint calmly because you know that given a similar situation, you would be just as upset.
2. Ask questions for understanding. Before thinking about the response you are going to give, be sure to take some time to ask the right questions. Often times we are too busy thinking about how we want to defend ourselves or our company that we don’t take the time to really understand what is upsetting the customer. Slow down, ask questions, and get the root of the problem before coming up with a response.
3. Be genuine. Instead of responding with the typical canned response of “It is our policy to do…” try to respond as if you were an understanding friend. A compassionate voice and a listening ear goes a long way with upset customers.
4. Don’t take it personally. Although the customer may be upset and saying “You” a lot, he isn’t really upset with you. He is more upset with the situation, what has happened, and possibly over company policy. So instead of taking it personally and becoming defensive, take a step back, a deep breathe, and approach the customer with a calm and collected voice.
5. As a last resort, seek help. Sometimes customers are just looking to be heard by someone who matters. Even if your supervisor is going to say the same thing as you, coming from someone who has “more authority” has a positive effect on an upset customer as it makes them feel valued.
At the end of the day, no matter how hard we try, someone is going to be unhappy with our products or services. The worst thing you can do when this happens is to become upset and angry back to them. Remember how we talked about great customer relationships last week? Staying calm and understanding when a customer is upset will only help to further develop and grow that relationship, turning an upset customer into a happy, loyal one.
Do you have any tips on handling complaints without getting upset? We want to know them!