JOHN GLOVER: Hello and welcome to another Pendragon Straight Talk. This week’s question is quite a common one I think, that people have, which is how do we deal with rude or annoying customers. Rude or annoying customers can totally ruin your day, I understand that, especially if you are doing your very best to look after them, it can really get on your nerves and really ruin the rest of your day.
So, I used to work in the hotel industry years ago, and one of the things we used to do was make sure we gave service, upon service, upon service, keep providing the service your provide and provide it obviously with a smile and hopefully as you’re going through that service, whatever’s irritating that annoying customer or the customer themselves, make sure it makes it easier for them to cope with it or you’ll go through it. But, what you’ve got to do then is listen to them, find out exactly what their issue is, it may not actually be around your service, it may be something that occurred to them. You don’t know what’s happened to them throughout the day, something else may have happened to them throughout the day that really go on their nerves, and therefore you’re just feeling the full brunt of it at the moment.
Remain calm, don’t get caught up, don’t get caught in the moment, stay neutral. Apologise, if there is an apology required, apologise and move on in a positive manner. Solver their problem, even if it is slightly outside of your normal service, still help them to solve their issue.
Find out what their issue is. Put yourself right in their shoes, become them.
Don’t let them ruin your head, sometimes they start taking over and they are telling you what you’re supposed to be doing. And don’t no matter what you do, take it personally. Make sure you have empathy, and be careful you don’t get caught up with sympathy because there is two completely different things there, empathy is the issue, you’ve got to make sure you empathise with them.
Explain up front how you would like to work with customers. This is something we do. We’ve developed what we call our ‘Code of Collaboration’ and expectations and we provide this as an attachment to our clients so they understand upfront how we would like to deal with them and how we would like them to deal with us and that does help us set the scene sometimes.
Don’t forget, clients are the same as us, we are all clients of someone.
So, treat them the way you would like to be treated, whatever the situation is, think about you in their shoes again.
And the final thing is that if they stress you out or you’re feeling a little bit uptight about someone when your finished take a break, have a break, go for a walk, drink tea, or do whatever gives your time and mind back so your day can move forward on a positive note.
Hope that assists a little. Good luck with any of your customers and have a great day and I look forward to talking to you next week.
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