You aren’t a business owner until you’ve had someone complain about what you do for them. Who among us hasn’t received an email in all caps with too much punctuation? Other than just being frustrating, these kinds of customers cost you time, stress, and revenue. However, there is a right way to satisfy your irate customers, and it won’t take a ton of effort.
Identify Difficult Customers Immediately
If you’ve been in business for a while, you should know how to recognize the signs of a difficult customer from miles away. If you here words like “slow,” or “glitch,” you might have a problem on your hands. As soon as you figure it out, listen closely to their issue, and watch out for an increase in the customer’s voice volume or a sudden snippy tone. Often, these are signs emotions are running high.
Be Patient, but Get on with It
You won’t be winning any new customers over – or keeping any of your old ones – if you don’t respond as fast as you possibly can. Customers just love knowing when someone’s paying attention to them, especially ones that may be more impatient. Difficult customers always appreciate near-instant responses, so make sure you hand them out regularly.
When You Can, Talk on the Phone
People say things over email that they would not otherwise say. If you can’t feasibly speak to someone face-to-face, try calling them. If you can’t call them, Skype them. Avoid emailing them. If you want to defuse a situation, it’s much more effective to be heard by an irate customer. Nothing will matter more to an upset customer than a human, understanding tone.
If something is your fault – and sometimes when it isn’t – there’s no reason you shouldn’t fess up and attempt to make it better. If your site is broken, it’s okay – but you need to say so. Even if this only ticks off your customer more, remain calm and tell them that you’ll help them with their problem as fast as you possibly can. Usually, transparency will calm a customer down since they know you’re not trying to hide your mistake from them.