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7 Tips for Giving Outstanding Customer Service to a Challenging Customer

customer-serviceRemain Calm and pleasant –  Don’t take the conversation personally no matter what the customer says or how they say it.  Remember, they are not mad at “you” but rather upset with the situation.

Inquire –  Own the problem and ask the customer what the problem may be.  “My name is Bob.  Tell me what seems to be the issue and I’ll do my best to help sort it out for you”.

Listen – Let the customer get it all off their chest.  It’s good to acknowledge that you understand what they are saying just so the customer knows you are listening, but resist the temptation to interrupt or interject any information until the customer is finished.  Often this will have the effect of taking the wind out of their sales.  Many times the customer will calm right down and be a lot easier to deal with once they get it all out.

Empathize – They key to success here is sincerity! You understand how they feel.  You’d probably feel much the same way were you in their shoes.  Let them know that.

Apologize – This is your chance to turn the customer.   This is your chance to prove that you are on their side and you are the person here to help make it better.

Evaluate – Review the issue with the customer.  Make sure you do understand what exactly it is that is causing their displeasure.  Tell the customer what you are going to do about it.

Take Action – FOLLOW THROUGH with your promised action.  Nothing destroys the process faster and turns an upset customer into an even angrier one than making promises you don’t keep.   It not only makes us look bad, but now the customer really IS mad at you on top of it.   And with good reason.