Good day everyone
Welcome back to the Café
Here is a piece of training I shared with a student this week.
I hope you find it helpful.
5 Action Ideas to Handle Difficult People
Do you find it stressful dealing with difficult people? This training provides five simple steps to show you how to deal with demanding customers, coworkers, or your boss!
When was the last time you had to deal with a difficult customer? It was probably an external customer, but perhaps it was an internal customer, such as a member of your team, a coworker, or even – your boss!
I’m sure that you always want to provide exceptional service to both your internal and external customers. However, in the real world, things go wrong, and mistakes are made. These “customers” will often judge your level of service based on how you respond to a mistake. Do it well, and they’ll probably forgive you and possibly even say positive things about your business or your abilities to other people.
The critical thing to realize when dealing with an upset customer, whether internal or external, is that you must -deal with their feelings, then deal with their problem. Upset customers are liable to have strong feelings when you, your product, or service lets them down, and they’ll probably want to “dump” these feelings on you.
You don’t address their feelings by concentrating on solving the problem. It takes more. Here are five action ideas that deal with the customers’ human needs:
1 – Don’t let them get to you – Stay out of it emotionally and concentrate on listening non-defensively and actively. Customers may make disparaging and emotional remarks – don’t rise to the bait.
2 – Listen – listen – listen – Look and sound like your listening. The customer wants to know that you care and are interested in their problem.
3 – Stop saying sorry – Sorry is an overused word. Everyone says it when something goes wrong, and it’s lost its value. How often have you heard – “Sorry ’bout that, give me the details, and I’ll sort this out for you.” Far better to say, “I apologize for ……” And if you need to use the sorry word, make sure to include it as part of a complete sentence. “I’m sorry you haven’t received that information as promised, Mr. Smith.” (It’s also good practice to use the customer’s name in a difficult situation).
4 – Empathize – Empathy is an effective way to deal with the customer’s feelings. Empathy isn’t about agreement, only acceptance of what the customer is saying and feeling. The message is – “I understand how you feel.” This has to be a genuine response. The customer will realize if you’re insincere, and they’ll feel patronized. Examples of empathy responses would be – “I can understand that you’re angry” or “I see what you mean.” Again, these responses need to be genuine.
5 – Build rapport – Sometimes, adding another phrase to the empathy response, including yourself in the picture, is helpful. – “I can understand how you feel; I don’t like it either when I’m kept waiting.” This has the effect of getting on the customer’s side and building rapport. Some customer service people get concerned with this response as they believe it’ll lead to – “Why don’t you do something about it then.” Most people won’t respond this way if they realize that you’re a reasonable and caring person. If they do, continue empathizing and tell the customer what you’ll do about the situation. “I’ll report this to my manager” or “I’ll do my best to ensure it doesn’t happen in the future.”
Please make no mistake about it; customers, be they internal or external, are primarily driven by their emotions. It’s therefore essential to use human responses in any interaction, especially when a customer is upset or angry. If customers like you and feel that you care, then they’re more likely to accept what you say and forgive your mistakes.
Thank you for stopping by the Café. Would you please share it with someone who could benefit from it if you found this helpful? For more tips and resources, visit the website at thecafeboss.net. Please also feel free to buy me a cup of coffee. https://www.buymeacoffee.com/cafeboss2503