The customer may always be right, but that does not mean that all your buyers are easy to handle. Some, in fact, can become your worst nightmare.
Anyone who has worked in a face-to-face job can tell you some experience managing difficult clients.
And although in some cases they will get you out of your boxes, deep down you know you need them to continue in your business. After all, it is they who provide you with the income to maintain your enterprise.
Finding techniques that will help you disarm an unsatisfied buyer and re-establish loyalty is the key to thriving in the business world (even when all you want to do is kick them in the ass and let them go).
If you want to be prepared for that time when you have to deal with an annoying buyer, these are the 9 strategies you must follow to handle the situation as a professional.
9 Strategies to Manage Difficult Customers in Your Business
1. First and foremost: listen to them
When dealing with difficult clients, you, as a seller, must prove that you are a professional. So do not try to talk over the other person or argue with her/him.
Let her/him talk, even if you know what he is going to say, or even if he does not have all the information or is wrong.
Realise that in such a situation, the angrier the client is, the more power you will have over him or her.
Their anger surely means that you need an urgent solution to their problem, and you are the only person who can give it to. So you can say that it is in your hands all the control.
As you listen, you will have the opportunity to build trust, empathy and understanding, and make the other calm down when you are at least listening.
2. Shows empathy
Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. Listen to their problem and show that you understand position and his situation they are in.
If the client feels that you are identifying with their problem, this will help calm and be more receptive to your words.
If you repeat what the buyer is saying, you will convey a real feeling that you care about him or her, and the problem you may have.
– Buyer: yesterday I came and bought this in store, but when I got home and tried to use it it did not work! I have reviewed it well and this DOES NOT WORK …
– Seller: so it did not work when you used it at home …
In this way, the client is feeling that you are trying to put yourself in the same situation and understand him better.
3. Lower your tone of voice and speak slowly
If they are a difficult and aggressive customer, it is likely that they will start to raise their voice and even shout at you. At this time, it is best to lower your tone of voice and speak more slowly, but with a firm tone.
Human beings usually mimic the behaviour of the people with whom we interact. That is why this technique will unconsciously cause the buyer to start lowering his tone and be calmer.
Remember that emotions are contagious: if you put yourself on the same level as the other – screaming or angry – you will only make things worse.
4. There are more customers looking at you..
A very effective strategy for dealing with difficult customers is to imagine that there are other buyers looking at how you act.
Doing this is a good way to stay calm and feel the control of the situation.
If you think that there are more people around you, what you do not want is that your other customers see you as a bad seller, and you lose them.
So the attitude you will take will be to treat the person in front of you as best you can so that others will realise that you are a professional so they can trust.
5. Make a mistake to be right.
If nothing of what you are saying or doing satisfies the buyer, use the surrender strategy and give it what they want (even if the customer is not right).
This is something that will not be expected, and will surely adopt an attitude of starting to defend you.
People have a natural mechanism in which when someone lets us win, we relax and try to defend the individual who has given us that “power”.
However, you must remember that this is an exception, and this strategy should only be used with difficult clients who do not accept anything you say or offer.
Buyers who are more “docile” can not give you everything they ask because otherwise it would ruin your business.
6. Demonstrate that you have control over your emotions
When a customer yells at you or even insults you, take a deep breath and pretend you have not heard him.
Surely your anger comes from some fear you have (like losing your money). And showing yourself calm, in control of your emotions, will make you see that you are there to help him, not to attack him.
Realise that if you start to show anger too, they shout and insult, the situation will become a chaos that can end very badly.
But by controlling yourself and showing that you are relaxed, the buyer will see that there is really nothing to worry about and will calm down.
Very important: never say phrases like ” calm down ” or ” relax ” because that will only make things worse. Why? Because of the Ego Level.
If you see the situation starting to derail, say ” I’m here to help you ” or “I’m going to do everything I can to solve your problem.”
7. Do not take it personally
Always talk about that particular situation and do not take it personally, even if the buyer does it by insulting you.
Difficult customers do not know you and are just turning your frustration over you as a representative of your business or the company for which you work.
Even if they tell you something that hurts you, stick to the facts and stand firm.
Try, calmly, to guide the conversation back to the real problem you have and tell him that you are trying to help him, ignoring his personal insults.
8. Remember that you are talking to a human being
Everyone has a bad day. Perhaps the client you have before you had bad day with their wife or husband, their children have taken bad grades from the school, or have been fined.
We’ve all gone through one of those days when nothing seems to work.
Therefore, you should try to make their day better by offering a solution with a calm voice and a positive mind.
9. If you make a promise, fulfil it!
If you promise to call the customer again when you have a solution, give him a new product, or any other solution, make sure you follow it.
In case you do not, the buyer will return to ask for explanations, much angrier, and the situation will be much, much worse than the first time.
In addition to all these strategies, read also the article The 6 most difficult customer types where you will find specific techniques for each type of complicated customer and how to handle it.
What situations have you had with difficult clients and how did you handle them? Leave me a comment down here telling us your experiences. We would love to hear!