Dealing With Difficult People: Customer Complaints
Let’s face it; every business has their share of difficult clients. It is not surprising then that there are times when we have to deal with a difficult client. Dealing with difficult people is essential to our success.
When dealing with difficult people, your client in specific, it might seem that keeping peace and our sanity is a tough, if not impossible, task.
So how do you find a balance for it all?
Bottom Line: You bend over backwards when appropriate but you also learn to put your foot down whenever needed.
Below are a few points which we can consider to maintain a healthy relationship in terms of dealing with difficult people:
Maintain a calm tone and choose your words carefully
There are times when we want to hang up the phone or yell back when we are on the receiving end of a client’s tirade. Don’t do it! This will only worsen the situation by adding fuel to the fire. An outburst from you will leave you feeling miserable and frustrated all day long! Be firm, but also be professional in the way you respond. Put your points across in a dignified manner and maintain a soft tone while talking to them.
Be patient and listen
Difficult clients can seem overly demanding and it may feel as if they are rarely satisfied with the results. They always want something ‘more’. You need to be patient while dealing with difficult people like these and their unrealistic expectations. Rather than feel overwhelmed, list down the issues raised, share this with the client and ask if all their concerns are listed. Once you have consensus on what it is that they need, you can calmly let them know which items you can take care of and which you cannot do. Be honest and upfront. Do not agree to “try” to do something you know is out of your reach.
Never take it personally – it is all Business!
Always remember the client is not angry or upset with YOU. So keep your personal feelings aside and handle the situation in a professional manner.
Acknowledge the client
The fastest way to calm down an angry client is to acknowledge them and their concerns gracefully. At times it may not be your fault but it definitely helps to control a tense situation when your client feels that you are hearing them. You will immediately notice a change in the client’s tone and language.
Take a break
No matter how well you handled a tough situation it will still leave you drained and tense. So take a break for a few minutes – take a colleague for a short walk, have coffee, read an interesting article or talk to someone who will make you feel better. Get it out of your system before you head back to your desk and continue with your work.
Always remember, difficult clients exist in every business. They will annoy you, frustrate you, push you to the edge but you can never run away from them. Learn to take it in your stride and move on.
After all, Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do!