In life, and especially in customer service, we’re bound to encounter people who are generally difficult to deal with and can’t easily be placated. Having a customer service issue only compounds this fact and can make our job that much harder, but only if we let it. Here are 5 simple ways to handle these cases more easily.
Don’t Lose the Forest
Whenever a big, angry personality comes our way, our natural tendency is to push back. But we cannot lose the forest for the trees by focusing on the personality instead of the problem at hand. Do whatever the situation requires in order to mentally separate the facts of the situation from the person relaying them. Recording just the important facts as bullet points can often allow us to have a clearer, less reactive thought process.
Focus on a Solution
Listening to a tirade is never pleasant, but if we listen with a very intent focus on problem-solving, it helps us to emotionally distance ourselves from the messenger and enables us to more easily find a proper solution to the customer’s problem.
Ask For Their Input
Some difficult people are so because they enter interactions with the assumption that their voices will not be heard. When our solutions are not well-received, an easy approach to take is to simply ask the customer how they envision the problem being best resolved. Once given an answer, do what it takes to provide as much of that solution as is feasible and inform them that you are doing so.
We’ve spoken a lot about apologizing and taking responsibility in the past, but doing so is never more important than when dealing with a difficult personality. It is easy in these cases to start feeling defensive and resistant to diffusing the situation with an apology. However, we have to remember that we are dealing with someone in a professional capacity and that apologizing and taking responsibility for their experience is not a reflection of our actual selves outside of work.
Move on From Their Case
When a case with someone difficult is coming to an end, we need to give ourselves permission to move on from it. There will be other customers that need our assistance and, sometimes, a customer relationship cannot be salvaged no matter what we do. By letting go of our cases that cannot be satisfied, we are freeing ourselves to provide amazing service to our customers who will be receptive to it.