Have you ever had to deal with a customer who made you crazed?
Who hasn’t? They have different expectations and want us to know!
These 6 ideas will help:
1. Check to make sure it’s them and not you. (I know, I hate this too. Especially when it’s me. But remember the old finger pointing test; when we wag that finger at someone else, count how many are pointing back at ourselves!)
2. Do not (wait, I need to shout this DO NOT) say: “Calm down.” Never in the annals of history has any human being responded well, when they are not calm, to someone demanding that they “Calm down.” Trust me on this.
3. Listen for points you can agree with because that will help them calm down (without your having to say it). Let’s say that I’m arguing with you because you promised delivery today and it’s today, and I don’t have my delivery and I say:
Me, as your client: “Look (using the word “look” is a simple way to raise another person’s blood pressure!), you promised delivery today and I need it and it isn’t here and this is unacceptable.”
You, listening for something you can agree with: “You’re right and we messed up. I told you that you could expect delivery today…”
Me, still angry, cutting you off: “You didn’t just say that I could expect delivery! You said that I would HAVE delivery!!!”
You, listening for something you can agree with: “You are absolutely right. I said that wrong. Thank you. Here is how we can take care of this for you…”
4. Do not (wait, another DO NOT!) ever say, “I understand how you feel.” Why is this a do not ever? Because we don’t. We never truly understand how or what the other person is feeling. We might imagine how we would feel in the same circumstance, but we don’t know for sure how they feel.
5. Instead of using fake empathy, speak the truth . Say something like: “I can only imagine how you must feel right now.” Ahhhhh. The truth!
6. Love them. Whether you or they are right, doesn’t matter. The more you can focus on helping them get the result they want, the less difficult they become.
There was a folktale that told of a man that traveled from town to town and he only found nasty people in each town. But another person went to each town and only found kindness. What we look for, we see and what we give out, we get back.
Or maybe I’m wrong. What advice do you have for dealing with difficult customers?