Dealing with difficult customers at work can be very stressful for even the most skilled employees. No matter what type of problem your customers bring to the call, Laurie Brown has a surefire solution and method to handle the situation and break through communication barriers.
The Escalator is an unsatisfied customer who wants to speak to the manager or owner from the start of the call. This often happens because your frontline employees handling these calls are not empowered to solve problems.
Solution: Give your frontline employees the tools, resources and management support to solve the problem in the same way the manager would when a call gets escalated. This eliminates the need to go above the team member taking these calls as they are now fully empowered to resolve the situation to the customer's satisfaction.
The classic Screamer yells, swears and resorts to name calling to get the help they need. They are angry, want answers fast, and will not accept anything less than what they are demanding.
Solution: Train your employees to manage their own emotions, remain calm, and take a moment to breathe before responding. Most importantly, they need to avoid telling the customer to calm down, that only inflames the Screamer more. This is an opportunity to really listen fully to the issues presented so the customer feels heard, and show empathy so they feel acknowledged for their circumstances.
When a customer calls who knows it all, that's a Researcher. They found the information online or from their friend and now they are the expert, which means they think they are never wrong. The fact is they are often misinformed.
Solution: Start by acknowledging and agreeing with the Researcher. Then connect the point-of-view that you feel is true with the word "and". This is how to disagree without being disagreeable. Avoid words such as "but, unfortunately or however."
With the Ego Tripper, it's all about them. These difficult customers feel they deserve special treatment. They want everything the way they want it, how they want it, and when they want it, which is usually now. They aren't willing to wait or make an effort and want to be pampered and given special treatment.
Solution: When your frontline employees empathize with the Ego Tripper, that goes a long way to calm things down. Sometimes, if possible, it's best to simply give people what they want or as close to it as you can get. That something extra and the special treatment you provide can make a person's day and promote a huge amount of good will.
These are examples of dealing with difficult customers and how to effectively turn tough situations around to create satisfaction and good will. By overcoming the communication barriers, these empowering solutions sometimes convert the unsatisfied person into a long-time, loyal customer.
"Laurie's thorough knowledge of the program content and her enthusiasm and genuine concern for each person in her audience, made her one of the most effective and sought-after trainers in the program."
— Debbie Vurpillat, Caribineer
Learning how to handle difficult people can greatly improve customer relations, build loyalty and impact your company's bottom line. Laurie Brown's outstanding programs will help your team build the skills they need to smooth things over with upset clients and build stronger relationships over time. Great customer service pays back in terms of your company reputation and long-term success.