Techniques to Handle Difficult Customers
By Michael Lee,
Author of How
To Be An Expert Persuader
are essential to apply in the field of sales and marketing,
as dealing with an irrational customer is one of the toughest
situations you can tackle.
How do you exactly alleviate
the fury of a buyer who is livid because of something you, the
service or product, or your company failed to perform? This
is where influence and persuasion techniques
may come in handy.
Because the field of sales is
not a walk in the park, there will be times when you will be
shouted at, and even hurled harsh words by clients who are not
satisfied. Don't be alarmed. This is a normal situation. And
being so, there are ways to rise above them so that you don't
break down, too.
First, find out what the client
is angry about.
Is he complaining about your
Is he unclear about certain points
in the agreement or the product?
Did the problem come from you
or did it spring out of his frustration over something he misunderstood?
What are his sentiments exactly?
You can find this out by being
calm with the client, no matter how irritable he is. Ask politely
what the problem is and request that he explain it to you.
Don't interrupt and try to defend
yourself or correct him while he explains. Wait for him to finish
and then enumerate all your responses to his problems.
Often, the customer does not
really want to know exactly what you are doing to rectify the
situation, only that you tell him that steps are being undertaken
to correct it, and when precisely this is expected to be solved.
One thing clients hate most
is continuously waiting for solutions that are not certain to
When you have figured
out what he needs, level with him. Building rapport with your
client is one of the best ways to get into a straight conversation
with him without the flare-ups. This means adopting his current
If he is angry, let
him know that you understand his feelings. If he is frustrated,
empathize. Clients appreciate people who they know feel their
pain. When you have succeeded in this, you can expect to have
a much calmer discussion right after.
Don't say something
like "I'm sorry for that. I'm already on it." Instead,
say something like "I understand that you are angry now.
I will feel the same if I were you. Rest assured that I will do
everything in my power to correct this matter as soon as possible.
I will constantly update you of the developments as I progress."
Handling an irate
customer is not so difficult if you know how to level with people.
Think of it this way..
If you were in his
shoes, you would be feeling the same way, right? How would you
want the other person to face you then?
That should always
be your guiding strategy. Build rapport with the use of proper
persuasion techniques and, together, seek solutions.
No issue has ever been solved by an argument.
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