(1:24) First rule of handling difficult customers, is to let them vent.
(1:57) The angry stranger ended up calming down and even did them a favour, happily!
(2:18) The second rule, is to apologise.
(3:08) The third point, is to follow through on the issue. Don't let the clients get any angrier than before.
Adrian tells us a story of a time he took his dog, Frankie, out for a walk. As he was about to leave, a stranger furiously knocked on his car window. He rolls down his window to hear what the stranger has been saying. As it turns out, Frankie did her business near the stranger’s car.
Now, there are three things to remember if you get caught in a situation like this:
- Let the angry client vent.
If you let a client vent, it allows them to get their frustrations out of their system. Your clients are still human. They could be having a bad day, and venting out their frustration is the first step of a solution to helping them out. It may not be easy as we want to try and solve things immediately (on the spot), but venting will help de-escalate the situation.
After they get it all out of their system, the second step is simply– to apologise. Some people may struggle with this step because they do not see the need or do not see anything wrong with their actions. It may not necessarily be your fault, maybe it was the service, but at the end of it all, the client does not care. They just want a solution. It is crucial to apologize as you are representing your company. This action shows the initiative of taking responsibility.
- Follow through to solve the issue.
Don’t beat around the bush. Follow through on what you should do to solve the issue. You may have someone else look into it. Nothing worse than passing the buck, and it is still not followed through. This is how you create angrier clients. (“Passing the buck” is when a person attributes another person, as if it's their responsibility.)
Adrian explains further that he showed initiative to solve the problem by picking up after Frankie’s mess. But, the stranger was willing to clean up after Frankie even after the whole situation. Even after being angry a few minutes before, as long as you follow through with the three-step process, you can turn angry clients into happy ones.
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