A difficult customer is anyone’s worst nightmare. Nothing you do will calm them down. In fact, sometimes it seems like the more you try to help, the angrier they get. Unfortunately, it’s your job to handle each and every customer, no matter how difficult they may be. Here is a simple, three step guide for dealing with difficult people.
It’s not you, it’s them. When you go into a situation with a customer that you know is going to be tough to deal with or has anger issues, know that it really isn’t about you in particular. Anyone they deal with will have the same hard time. It’s not up to you to “fix” their issues, but you to have to tolerate them. Knowing that, no matter what they say or do, it’s not a personal attack, will likely make it easier to handle this particularly difficult customer.
Go to a happy place. A friend of mine has this saying, “In with the rainbow, out with the storm.” Sure it’s a little bit silly, but learning to find a centered, happy place while dealing with a stressful situation is really important. If you can stay in this happy frame of mind, the chances of a difficult customer ruffling your feathers will be greatly decreased.
Know when to say when. At some point, you have to tell an angry customer to stop. Know what that line is before you reach it so that if it happens, you can tell your customer, with confidence and grace, that you’re very sorry, but you can no longer work with them. It’s OK to stand up for yourself and for your company.
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