Soothe Those Savage Customers!
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Soothe Those Savage Customers!
Keeping cool under pressure.
If you are in business, there is no way to get around having dissatisfied customers from time to time. Let’s be real, at some point, you are going to have some irate customers. Since this cannot be avoided, the best thing to do is to learn how to handle these situations.
The most important lesson to remember is to always keep your cool. Why is this so important? If others witness you getting defensive or worse, attacking back with your words, you may win the battle but you will surely lose the war. If your employees overhear and witness your behavior, they will learn to do the same when they find themselves in similar situations. That is not what you want. It’s your responsibility to set the example for your staff and coworkers so that they know exactly how you would like them to handle a comparable predicament.
If your situation is seen by other customers, news of your bad behavior will spread far and wide before you can even attempt to take it back. You will likely lose more than one customer as a result of your actions. It said that people will forget what you say and people will forget what you do, but they will never forget the way you made them feel. Even customers not involved with the dispute will feel uncomfortable and will not wish to return if they see you battling with one of their own.
Let’s say that you are having a dispute with a customer and there are no other witnesses besides the two of you. That does not lessen your responsibility to treat your customer right. Remember that customers are complaining to let you know of a problem and they are depending upon you fix it. If you don’t treat the customer with respect, this customer will be leaving you and will not forget about how he or she was treated. Instead, that customer will be spreading far and wide a recount of the events and, as with most “fish stories,” the actual events will take on a much more dramatic and exaggerated tone with each new telling. In all cases, you will lose if your behavior is not professional and respectful.
The key to soothing savage customers is to stay calm, be patient, listen intently without interruption, and remain respectful and professional throughout the onslaught. Remember that even the most furious customer will not stay in that state longer than necessary. The customer is merely making sure you understand how upset and put out he or she is about the circumstances. The sooner you convey that you understand the problem, the dissatisfaction, and frustration the customer feels, the sooner you will be able to rectify the situation. Demonstrate your professionalism by being respectful and taking action to fix the problem to the customer’s satisfaction and that once savage customer may turn out to be one of your biggest advocates in the future.
I’ve learned that I can put up with anything for a time.- Vlonda Kearse
This excerpt is taken from the Soothing the Savage Customer seminar.I encourage you to register for this great live Zoom presentation on Thursday, February 4, 2021 from 9 AM to 12 noon Eastern Standard Time.