Imagine that you've just picked up the phone to answer a customer's call, or a client has unexpectedly arrived in person at your office. Out of the blue, you find yourself on the receiving end of some shocking rudeness. And you're left gasping.
How do you manage yourself, calm the situation, and build bridges with this person, who remains important to your business? And how do you recover from the experience and prevent such a situation happening again?
Although customer service and sales people most commonly encounter such situations, everyone has "customers." Anyone who you interact with in your workplace who looks to you for results or some other output is a customer.
In this article, we explore five strategies for dealing with rude customers, and we look at how to handle the aftermath of these difficult confrontations.
Sorting Unhappy Customers From Rude Ones
If a customer is unhappy about the quality of goods or services that he or she has received from your organization, he is perfectly entitled to express his dissatisfaction. And if he remains calm and civil, despite his frustration or anger, you'll most likely be willing to help Add to My Personal Learning Plan him with his grievances. You'll try hard to put things right, whether it's replacing a faulty toaster or compensating him for a missed family holiday because of an over-booked flight.
Occasionally, though, despite your welcoming manner, expert knowledge and willingness to help, there are people who can't control their anger Add to My Personal Learning Plan and resort to verbal abuse, offensive language, and even threatening words or behavior. When you're confronted by these rude customers, it can be difficult to know how to respond or defuse the situation.
Strategies for Handling Rude Customers
Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada, have studied "incivility" between customers and employees. Their findings show that employees who expect to encounter rude customers at work react far less strongly than employees who normally enjoy good customer relations, but who face unexpected rudeness.
The researchers recommend that organizations train their staff to deal effectively with irate customers, even when those customers are generally viewed as highly civil. And they add that employees should deal with rude customers at the time of the encounter, rather than try to repair a damaged relationship after the event.
The consequences of not handling such situations effectively can be serious. The UBC study cites customer incivility as a cause of stress, emotional exhaustion, absenteeism, and reduced performance. And if an employee reacts negatively to the customer, it threatens an organization's reputation for customer service and can impact customer retention.
Coming face to face with a raging customer can be a frightening experience. So, what do you do if you are suddenly on the receiving end of a stream of bile and abuse? Here, we explore five strategies for dealing with rude customers:https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/dealing-with-rude-customers.htm