How To Handle Working With Difficult CustomersHow To Handle Working With Difficult CustomersGiphy GIFGiphy GIF

How To Handle Working With Difficult Customers

Executive Spotlight
You don’t have to work in customer service to work with difficult customers. We recently asked our leading executives how they handle working with difficult customers.
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This is an issue of control that often comes down to fear.

John Schembari, Senior Education Executive
Seek to understand by interpreting their words and body language then reflecting back the thoughts and feelings heard. Begin with an “I don’t know” mindset vs. prejudging them or their situation. Break a big problem into bits to solve one at a time.

Lynn Holland, VP Sales & Business Development
I now question whether they are addressing my needs and doing their work correctly.

Mark Taylor, Product & Operations Executive
Could a quick search on social media provide that the customer is located in Florida and loves football and, in addition to an apology and correction of the mistake, you try connecting with them by sending a custom Bucs flag from eBay?

Kathryn Marshburn, Music Program Manager
Once everything has been clearly communicated and agreed upon by all parties involved (and make sure that if/as needed things are in black and white). The bottom line, I think it all comes down to communication.

Ana Smith, Talent Architect & Global Learning Strategist
Let’s not forget that in addition, in this day and age, we have.
I do want my customers to be happy and satisfied with the product or service that I provide. But, when that doesn’t happen, I need to know what steps to take next. Listen Carefully: Difficult customers are often the ones who are the most vocal.

Percy Leon, Digital Media Content Executive
This gives me an opportunity to understand their point of view and come up with a solution that works for both parties.
Some of my most difficult customer interactions have been dealing with an internal customer who doesn’t respect my team or me, which results in the challenge of getting anything done.

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It’s important to remain calm, professional, and composed, even if the customer is aggressive and disrespectful.
Remain Calm
Try to understand their concerns, ask open-ended questions, repeat back to them what you heard to ensure alignment, and find a solution that works for both parties. Empathize: Show empathy for their situation.
Active Listening
This can help to de-escalate the situation and build rapport with the customer. Offer Solutions: Work with the customer to find a solution that meets their needs and expectations.
Escalate When Necessary
If the situation is escalating and you feel threatened or unable to handle the situation, it’s important to escalate the issue to a manager or someone with more authority to handle the situation.
Document the situation and solutions offered, and ensure they are satisfied with the outcome. This will help avoid similar situations in the future, help maintain a positive relationship, and build trust.