5 steps to pleasing difficult, demanding customers

First-Rate Customer Service Forum

5 steps to pleasing difficult, demanding customers

Trying to satisfy difficult and demanding customers can take a toll on everyone. But if you satisfy them quickly, you can save everyone some anxiety and build customer loyalty.

Here are five steps to help you quickly satisfy difficult and demanding customers:

  1. Let them know you’re there to help. When customers are on a rampage, it’s difficult to get a word in edgewise. But when you do get the chance to say something, tell them you want to solve their problem. Say: “Please let me fix this for you.”
  1. Ask for details. After you’ve reassured the customer, ask detailed questions designed to give you enough information to start solving the problem. Say: “May I please have your order number?” “What exactly did you order?” “How many did you order?” “What did you receive?”
  1. Paraphrase what they tell you. When they’re upset, customers sometimes seem to explain things in circles, never getting to the real issue. Before you work on a solution, repeat the problem to them in your own words to be sure you understand their complaint. Be careful not to cut customers off as they speak; that often upsets them more. Say: “Before I take care of this for you, I want to make sure I have all the facts.”
  1. Tell them how much you value them. When customers have problems, they feel unappreciated. Before you resolve the situation, tell them how much they mean to your organization. You might say: “We value your business, so I want to correct this for you quickly.”
  1. Tell them how you’re going to solve the problem. This is the moment your customer has been waiting for; you’re going to fix things, make them right. But guess what? Irate customers won’t believe that you’re going to solve the problem unless you tell them how you’re going to do it. Say: Here’s what I will do for you. I will ship your complete order today so that you can have it by 10 a.m. tomorrow. Will that work for you? Thank you again for allowing us to fix this problem.” Notice the “thank you” at the end. That goes a long way toward reassuring customers that it’s your job to solve their problems.

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