Dealing with customers is the basis of any support system and difficult customers could be the hardest part of it. Sometimes their discontent emerges due to the real issues with your product but sometimes they are just having a bad day. You should try and find a personal approach to any customer that comes to you for help, even if they are angry, and we can help you with it.
6 ways to effectively deal with difficult customers
The first thing you should note to yourself is that almost every bad conversation could be converted into useful and kind experience - both for you and your customer. The rest is up to preparedness, kindness, professionalism and other crucial skills of customer support agents.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail
Be ready. You should already know how to deal with difficult customers before even encountering the first one. By having a strategy and all the tools you need to settle the hard case, you’ll do better and your customer will leave in a good mood. It’s also important to prepare for hard cases individually - scroll through the customer’s profile, search for the previous conversations, look for what could have gone wrong so before you start a conversation with a customer now you’ll fully be equipped.
‘Hello, it’s me…’’
If you’re struggling with understanding what customer is trying to tell you or if the customer can’t understand you at all in the hard case, you should try and change the environment of the conversation. By jumping from the text conversation to the dialog on the phone, it’ll take the hard case closer to the resolving: you make sure that the customer is being heard, you can discuss what’s gone wrong and what can be done to fix the issue. Sometimes just hearing someone on the other end can resolve the case so don’t be afraid to pick up a call.
Sincerity is scary but apologies are always working
Apologies are the best thing for the start of a conversation with a difficult customer. It should be not short but not too long so you would need to find a perfect middle-ground option. ‘Sorry’ isn’t enough and ‘Oh my God, I’m so, so, so sorry that it has happened to you. Ouch! That is terrible. What a mess, please don’t judge us a lot’ is too much. Also, it is better if you apologize on the company’s behalf by adding ‘We are sorry’ or ‘We hear you’ in the conversation.
‘You know we’ll leave, if you keep lying, don’t lie behind us...’
A good and sincere apology is only the start. Being loyal and truthful comes next. Even if you don’t have a solution to the hard case, don’t lie about having one. Even if you are going to deliver bad news to the customer, don’t make it ‘fake news’. Keep the customer informed on what you are going to and how you are going to resolve the case. Do it with confidence and make sure you are putting all the efforts to actually resolve the case and actually having or preparing a plan.
Ask for help
If you’ve encountered something you don’t know how to fix or someone who is too difficult to handle for you, don’t be afraid to ask for help or assistance. Your team is always behind you and their experience will definitely help you to resolve the hard case.
Do you see failure? I see success.
It’s important to understand that every hard case you’ve had is a step forward for you, your product, and your company. You can always learn from the mistakes and it’ll make you, as a person and support system specialist, only stronger and your product to be better because a hard case is a good experience you can learn from.