How to deal with difficult (angry) customers: 8 tips

Building and maintaining strong customer relationships is a key aspect for succeeding in business. And this applies to all businesses across all industries; if you have customers, odds are that you will have some who are more difficult to service and please than others. It simply comes with the territory when you run your own small business.

As a small business owner, you may not always have the luxury of picking and choosing your clients, especially if your business is still in its infancy.

Understanding client handling techniques, deftly dealing with demanding clients, and ensuring that they remain customers of your business can be as essential for long-term small business success as reducing the risks to your business via business insurance.

1. How to deal with angry customers

When you deal with difficult customers, It’s important to note that not all difficult customers are created equal. There can be several types of difficult customers with different issues that you may be required to appease. Forewarned is forearmed, so let’s look at some of the common types of customers and how you may approach them, appease them, and keep them as customers of your business.

2. The impatient customer

An impatient customer may have been waiting to be served for longer than usual. They may be running late for their next appointment or restlessly fidget while you search for a solution to their issue or concern. This is where great customer service skills can really come in handy.

To handle an impatient customer be clear and to the point without coming across as dismissive of their demeanor. Try to transparently explain why there is a wait – without getting into the specifics. Be sure to let impatient customers know that efforts are being made to resolve the situation and get them on their way.

3. The indecisive customer

An indecisive customer struggles to choose from several solutions or products that you present to them. However, they may not express their concern to you.

If you have an indecisive customer, you may try asking them specific questions about the nature of the problem they are looking for help to solve and the most important factors that may influence their purchase. These may include features, cost, and service. If you have it on hand, marketing material such as product brochures can help the decisive customer make a decision.

4. The angry customer

An angry customer simply won’t be appeased with the outcome, regardless of what the outcome actually is. Attempts to remedy the situation will likely fall on deaf ears and may even make the situation worse.

While you may not have done anything wrong, to deal with angry customers and handle customer complaints you may be required to issue an apology. You can also increase your chances of resolving the issue by listening to their concerns. Keep it short: The more you leave the situation, the more grievances will arise and the less time that you can spend with other customers.

Try to keep it brief, because the longer you linger, the more opportunities the angry customer has to revisit their grievances or come up with new ones.

5. The demanding customer

A demanding client can drain a lot of your energy, time, and resources – often at the expense of other, less demanding customers. They might be stubborn about the specific solution or product they’re looking for and will not be willing to consider alternatives that may work just as well, if not better, for them.

If you have demanding customers, try talking slowly to them, and exercise as much patience as you can muster. Listen to their concerns and respond quickly. transparently. It is not a good idea to give answers that will buy you time or delay their needs, while still addressing customers. Giving the demanding customer answers to buy time or delay serving them may not go over well with this customer.

6. The vague customer

A vague customer will approach your business with no clear idea of their needs. Theis customer may have difficulty communicating the problem they have or may not fully understand their options. Asking questions to get to the root of the problem may not help with this customer. In fact, asking questions might actually add a new layer of confusion to the situation.

To help vague customers, customer service techniques such asking specific, pointed questions about their needs. This approach will likely deliver the outcome that will best help them. You may also try asking questions that focus on getting to the root of the problem so other customers aren’t left waiting.

7. The customer who demands a refund

This customer type is so unhappy with the product and/or service they’ve received that they want their money back. This can be a tricky situation to be on the receiving end of, but you may make it easier on yourself by referring the customer to your company’s refund and return policy.

Every business has its own refund policy and regulations that determine what items may be returned. While a full refund is the best option for the customer, it may not be possible to do so. So instead you may offer credit towards a future purchase.

8. The unhappy customer

Even though you have tried to resolve the problem six ways from Sunday, sometimes a customer will remain dissatisfied with your product or service.

The unhappy customer can require a similar response to the angry customer. Even if it doesn’t seem appropriate, issue them an apology. If none of the above solutions feel like they will deliver an ideal outcome either, listen with an open mind and a sympathetic ear and avoid dismissing their concerns or complaints.

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This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769

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