Just imagine this scenario. A customer bought a product from your outfit, but unfortunately, when he got home and tested it, he discovered that you gave him a wrong product. He calls your office and rained insult on you. How would you handle the situation?
From our interactions with business owners, we discovered that greater percentage of them usually return fire for fire. In fact, one said to an angry customer, “Who do you think you are? Just because you bought a product worth $50 you’re insulting everybody? Those who buy products worth thousands of dollars do not bother us, it’s poor people like you that does!”
What happened after that exchange of harsh words? The customer never returned to that outfit. He also told everyone around him how terrible the company was and encouraged them not to patronize the company. So they lost one customer and future customers.
I’m not trying to say that insult is palatable. In fact, as humans, we are wired to return insult for insult. If you treat us well, we will treat you well. If you treat us badly, we will reciprocate. But if you truly want to grow your business you must learn how to be polite when customers are angry. This story will throw more light into this discussion.
“When Bob and Al finished college, they both took jobs handling complaints and returns at a large department store. Needless to say, their academic training hardly prepared them for what they experienced.
Every day they faced a seemingly endless stream of angry, defensive, belligerent customers who all had problems and wanted them solved, “right now!” If it wasn’t the wrong merchandise, it was the wrong size. And if it was the right merchandise and right size, it didn’t work properly. It seemed to Bob and Al that every customer was, in effect, telling them, “I’ve got a problem and it’s all your fault.”
It didn’t take long for this kind of treatment to take its toll. Bob and Al went home each night feeling exhausted and irritable. In an attempt to cope, they tried a number of strategies at work. First, they tried fighting back, but that only made matters worse. Then they tried reacting to customers with a cool, detached indifference, but that didn’t work either.
Finally, they just tried being quietly patient, but they still went home feeling burned out. Relationships with friends and family began to suffer, and they were on the verge of looking for other work.
One evening after work, they stopped off somewhere and started talking about the job and how it was getting to them. They agreed that the heart of the problem was that they were letting negative customers attitude put them on the defensive.
They were so conditioned to expect trouble that whenever a customer appeared, they were always tensed and anticipating trouble and the customers sensed it.
Just as they were about to agree that quitting was the only option left, they spotted a sign tacked up behind a store that read: Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a tough battle. That was when they realized that kindness was the one thing that they had not tried.
The next day, instead of waiting for customers to attack, they took the initiative and set the tone by reaching out with understanding and friendship. Each customer was greeted with a friendly smile, courteous service, and a pledge to do whatever they could to help solve their problems as quickly as possible.
At the end of the day they felt much better, and over the next few days they worked on perfecting their technique. Pretty soon, they were changing frowns into smiles and some customers actually began laughing and joking with them.
A few weeks later, Bob remarked to Al, “You know what? Something has happened in this place. We’re starting to get a better class of people.” ~Michael Leboeuf.
You don’t have to work in a complaint department to catch a lot of flacks from irate customers. Angry customers are everywhere and as a business person or an employee, you must encounter them in your work.
In most cases, what the customer is upset about usually isn’t your fault, but he doesn’t care about that. He’s just mad, and to him, you’re the company that’s causing all of his misery. So he comes at you like a roaring lion looking for a way to devour you.
So, how can we creatively deal with an angry customers? What steps should we take to approach a customer who feels offended when they step into our outfit?
I will show you seven creative ways to turn angry customers to loyal customers at the Business and Career Conference that will be taking place on the 30th June, 2018, at Transcorp Hilton hotel, Abuja. I will be speaking on Ten Strategic Ways to Attract and Keep Your Customers for Life. Check the handbill below for the full details of the conference, or call Godwin on 07032681154. Keep soaring!
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