You invest your energies in trying to appease customers. ‘Customer is the King’ is what an adage says. After spending some considerable time, the customer simply wouldn’t budge. Then comes the part that you fear the most. ‘I’m sorry, some other dealer has offered me better’.
Your adrenaline charges up and temper shoots across your face. Ever wished to answer back but didn’t since your job would be in danger? Well, that’s natural.
Let’s face it- Customers aren’t really the best type of people to be friends with. And while I say this, I do realise that everybody is a customer somewhere or the other. You’re a customer yourself at the supermarket from where you shop for groceries or at the coffee shop. How do you, as a business professional, deal with such frenzied customers then?
- Listen: In my opinion, people forget to listen. That’s the root cause of problems. The customer might be wanting something, you might be having something different to sell altogether and because both of you are in an attempt to gain money, there might not be a conclusion. In such times, you forget to listen to what the customer actually needs- Preferences, tastes, budgets, complaints. Pause and listen, won’t cost you anything much.
- Stay calm: Yes, while I agree with the fact of wanting to throw something in their face for being so annoying, especially if they are the first thing to deal with on Monday mornings or Friday evenings, stay calm. Don’t react. Every action leads to a reaction.
- Apologise, if appropriate: Well, just because the customer is the ultimate decision-maker doesn’t mean that nobody else is important. As a business owner, apologise only if you’re at fault, and if needed, to save your business. Again, nobody becomes less important by saying sorry.
- Let go: Don’t let it affect you personally. Outside the four walls of your business, every mortal is the same. It’s a business that makes people tough. Don’t nurse a vendetta against them even if they might- Not worth it.
- Meditate: Until now, I used to find this idea a little preposterous considering how I didn’t believe in this segment entirely. However, meditation does help. Perhaps self-introspection. Take some time off, sit back and focus. You can choose to either think fo what happened, or think of all the happy times in your life.
- Get yourself a coffee: Coffee helps, and I’m not saying this because I’m a coffee connoisseur. Studies reveal coffee to act as a social drug, helping the body relax.
- Empathise: In all of the above, I’ve made it the customer sound accused and I’m sure you’ve agreed. However, have we given a thought to what they actually want? Or what would you do had you been in their shoes?
- Resolve: Well, you can either redirect the complaints to some senior in the company or if your business is about manufacturing or retail, you can offer them a credit note/ gift cards. Trust me, I’ve been offered this simply because of a few suggestions that I had made and I ended up feeling valued. Also, if there’s nothing at all that could be done, admit it and apologise. Remember honesty is the best policy?
- Work: On better customer service. Also, when the customer agrees and walks out, maybe disappointed. That’s not where it ends. Don’t be alarmed. To prevent such problems arising in the future, work on a model. It’ll save you the pains later.
- Deliver: It’s not always the customer’s fault. Have you had an in-depth look at your product? It’s imperative to keep up with your promises.
Remember, customers, end up being frenzy because of the lack of satisfaction. How you deal with them is probably the most important part of this customer life-cycle roadmap. Stay focused, and remember to breathe every once in a while. It’s okay to have a tiring day once in a while.