The customer is always right. Or are they? In any business, you’re going to come across customers who are difficult to deal with. They might be angry, rude, or just generally unpleasant. But as a business owner or employee, you can’t let them get to you. Here are some tips for dealing with problematic customers in your store.
How to deal with a problematic customer
Speak firmly and confidently in a loud and clear voice
When you’re dealing with a difficult customer, it’s important to stay calm and speak firmly. You want to sound like you’re in control, and you don’t want them to get the upper hand. Be sure to speak in a loud and clear voice so they know you’re serious.
Be polite to the customer, but don’t allow them to interrupt you or talk over you
Even though you need to be firm with a difficult customer, staying polite is important. You don’t want to come across as aggressive or hostile. But you also don’t want them to interrupt you or talk over you. So be sure to make your points clearly, and let them know that you’re not going to put up with their behavior.
Keep your face neutral when talking to the person
It can be tough not to let your emotions show when you’re dealing with a difficult customer. But it’s important to stay professional and not let them see that you’re getting upset. So try to keep your face neutral and maintain a calm demeanor.
Stay calm and don’t lose your temper
It can be tough not to let your emotions show when you’re dealing with a difficult customer. But it’s important to stay professional and not let them see that you’re getting upset. So try to stay calm, and don’t lose your temper.
If possible, maintain a physical barrier between yourself and the customer
If possible, maintain a physical barrier between yourself and the customer. This could mean standing behind the counter or keeping a desk or other object between you and them. This will help to keep them from getting too close and making you feel uncomfortable.
Remind the customer of your company’s policies and regulations in a way that is firm without being accusing or confrontational
It’s important to remember that you are not obligated to put up with disruptive or difficult behavior from customers. If the customer is violating your company’s policies or regulations, remind them of that in a firm but polite way. You may need to refer them to a manager if their behavior continues.
For instance, in Singapore, a lot of businesses require their customers to wear face masks within store premises. If a customer refuses to wear a mask, you must remind them of this policy and that they will be asked to leave unless they comply.
How to diffuse an argument
Listen carefully and acknowledge their concerns
It can be tough to deal with an angry customer, but it’s important to stay calm and listen to what they have to say. Acknowledge their concerns, and let them know that you’re taking them seriously. This will help to diffuse the situation and show the customer that you’re willing to work with them.
Try to find a solution that satisfies both parties
Often, a solution can satisfy both parties involved in an argument. Try to find that solution, and work together to come up with a plan that everyone can agree on. This will show the customer that you’re willing to compromise and that you care about their satisfaction.
Apologize if necessary
If you realize that you were wrong, it’s important to apologize. Even if you think that your customer was being unreasonable or unfair, apologizing can be a good way to diffuse the situation and end the dispute on a positive note.
When you should call the police
Calling law enforcement should be a last resort, but they may be your only option when a customer is violating your company’s policies or regulations. For example, if the person doesn’t leave when you ask them to, or if they are damaging your property or threatening staff members or other customers. It’s important to think carefully before you call the police for something like this, though. If possible, try to resolve it by having another member of your staff speak with the customer first.
No matter what, always remember to stay calm and professional when dealing with difficult customers. You may be able to diffuse the situation by listening carefully and acknowledging their concerns, trying to find a solution that satisfies both parties, or apologizing if necessary. If the customer is violating your company’s policies or regulations, remind them of that in a firm but polite way. And if all else fails, you may have to call the police.