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4 Tips for Dealing with Rude Customers

These days, quality customer service is often what sets a company apart from its competitors. No one is willing to put up with poor customer service when there’s another company two miles up the road that offers the same service. Every person in retail knows that they’ll deal with irate customers at some point or another, but that doesn’t make getting yelled at and insulted any easier.

Remember also that there’s a difference between an unhappy customer and a rude one. If someone is upset about the quality of a product or service, he or she is perfectly entitled to be. But sometimes there are customers who are angry and accusatory no matter how accommodating you try to be. Here are four tips for not letting them ruin your day.

  1. Remain calm, cool, and collected

Whatever you do, it’s critical that you keep a handle on your emotions. Getting into a screaming match with a customer does nobody any good, and may, in fact, do you a great deal of bad, if there are repercussions from your employer. Remember, losing control of yourself means losing control of the situation.

  1. Show them you care

Acknowledge the validity of their feelings, and make your sincerity evident on your face and in your voice. People pick up on attitude through tone of voice and body language, and oftentimes what you say isn’t as important as how you say it.

  1. Let them vent

The customer wants to be heard and understood. Give them your full attention, and be an active listener by asking questions, and repeating or paraphrasing some of what they say. Remember, body language is important. Sit up straight and maintain eye contact.

  1. Do you best to solve the problem

If solving their problem isn’t in your job description, don’t let the customer know it. Keep them talking and get all the information you can, and then do what you can to fix it. But if you really are unable to help them, find them someone who can. Don’t make promises you don’t have the ability or authority to keep.

If you are a manager, remember that it is your duty to step in if the customer crosses the line from rude to abusive. It’s important that you support your associate and make it clear to the customer that the associate has been following store policy.

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Han Butler

As Chief Revenue Officer, Han specializes in developing clear, unique and compelling value propositions which disruptively differentiate products and brands in cluttered markets. Han has a passion for working with people on creating value and opportunity, both in companies and communities. Nothing is more rewarding than working with a group of fun and talented individuals to create something greater than we could accomplish individually.

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