Igniting Workplace Enthusiasm

The Coach's Corner: Quick Success Tips from the Carnegie Coach

Tips for Dealing with a Difficult Client


From time to time, you will have to deal with a customer or client who is very upset. No matter who is to blame, it is always important to keep a few principles in mind to improve rather than deteriorate the situation with the customer.

Here are some tips for dealing with an upset customer:

1. Stay calm. Try to remain diplomatic and polite. Getting angry will only make the customer angrier.

2. Try to see things from the customer's point of view. Perhaps you would also feel upset if you were in the same situation.

3. Thank the person for raising the concern and do it sincerely. Emphasise the importance of satisfied customers to you and your organisation.

4. Listen for understanding. Sometimes the irate caller just wants someone to listen to their story, even if you are unable to help them.

5. Ask questions to get their facts and feelings. Listen to learn rather than to prepare your response. Don't respond too quickly.

6. Find points of agreement with their concerns. Establish common ground to show the person you are listening.

7. Always show a willingness to resolve the problem or conflict. Make the resolution seem as easy as possible.

8. Be genuine and show your personality. Respond as an understanding friend rather than by citing policies.

9. Be firm but understanding with your answers.

10. As a last resort, offer to have your supervisor talk to the caller . Your supervisor may say the same things, but sometimes hearing it from someone else has a positive effect on the customer.




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