Dealing With Difficult Customers

Tips for Dealing with Difficult Customers

Dealing with difficult customers can be very time consuming and frustrating.  If you have ever worked in a place where you had to deal with angry customers you probably understand what I am talking about.  There are numerous things that you would like to say and do but you need to remain calm and polite in order to deal with them effectively.

The first thing you want to do is try to find out what the main problem is.  What is the customer really complaining about?  Is this something that you can actually fix or make better in any way?  Once you have answered these questions you can begin to make the customer happy.  Dealing with difficult customers is going to be a headache some times but when you have a solution, things can go a lot smoother.

Try asking what the customer wants.  If they know that you are interested in what they have to say and what they want, they may be more willing to calm down and express themselves appropriately.  If you are not able to give the customer exactly what they want you will want to explain that to them.  However, it is most important to tell them exactly what you can do for them.  You may find out that they will be ok with what you can offer.  They may even like that more that what they wanted in the first place.  Be sure to explain to them fully why you can not meet their needs.  You also want to be sure that if you can bend the rules at all, do so.  I am sure that you have heard the saving that the customer is always right.  You will want to keep this in mind.

Finally, dealing with difficult customers is often going to require that you give the customer something.  Most people are going to expect something for their frustrations.  You can give them a gift certificate or something that is going to have value to them.  Often times, working in a restaurant, you will find that the customer is most likely going to want a free meal.  This will most likely make them happy.  You could also consider giving the person a free dessert.  This is the least you can do if you are not able to give them a free meal.  You may also give them a coupon for a free meal the next time if the problem was severe enough.

You should always smile at the customer.  Becoming angry and arguing with the person is only going to make things worse.  You are not being very professional if you are yelling at them or treating them poorly.  You do not want to run the risk of being reported to someone higher up than you.  Therefore, stay calm, smile and listen.  These things are going to help you solve the problem a lot faster and with less frustration.

Once you have solved the problem, you may want to follow up with the person.  You may want to get their phone number so that you can call them in a few days and see if the problem had been handled to their satisfaction.  This is going to show a lot of professionalism on your part.   You may even get the person back as a repeat customer.  This is the main goal, correct?

Finally, when you are finished dealing with difficult customers, you are going to want to ensure that the problem does not occur again.  You do not want the same problem to affect another customer later on.  This would be a disadvantage to you.  Be sure to fix the root of the problem as well so that this does not happen.