7 Ways To Deal With Frustrating Clients and Customers
If you’ve ever worked for a company that deals with people, you know exactly why having the aloha spirit throughout your workday can be a challenge. We Are More has had the privilege of working with amazing people. Not everyone has the same experience, and we know this from some of the previous service jobs we've had.
In the service industry, the phrase that “the customer is always right” has played a huge role in demeaning service providers and causing high levels of stress in their work environment. There are multiple factors that go into stressful situations, but knowing how to deal with frustrating customers is a means to surviving in any socially interactive job.
1. Understand that the customer isn’t always right.
You’re probably thinking, “I know, that’s why there’s an issue!” However, when you truly understand that the customer isn’t always correct, you don’t get as defensive when they try to prove you wrong. Everyone knows what they know, and if you know you’re right, give them some slack in finding out that the worker knows best.
2. Understand that you aren’t always right.
We know the industry we work for, we went to school/had education and training in our field, we’ve been employee of the month etc. etc. etc. Accomplishments sometimes create a sense of pride that forges us into thinking we know everything there is to know about what we do. Unfortunately, we don’t. You will never stop growing in your field, no matter how long you’re in it. It’s okay to take advice and consider counsel from customers. Knowing we aren’t always right gives us the perspective of learning instead of picking up an annoyance every time someone corrects us. Consider learning from your customers instead of immediately judging them.
3. The service industry requires servers.
If you work in a face to face job, you need to have a passion to serve others. A lot of people end up hating their service jobs because they don’t find joy in doing things for others. Instead they find more joy in their personal achievements and their time off. Evaluate why you might get frustrated so much. It could be that lending a helping hand is more of a chore than a reward. When we shift our view from “I feel like a slave” to “I’m helping someone have a better day/life/year,” it’ll make you want to do more than complain about how awful the customer was.
4. Allow the customer to win.
Sometimes customer arguments spur out of both the worker and client wanting to be in charge. When this happens, let them. Ask, “How would you like me to handle the situation?” or “What would you like me to do to fix the issue?” Put the reins in their hands so they can have a sense of satisfaction, and you can get off the hook if something in their plan goes wrong. Letting them win is a win for you too.
5. Realize different cultural expectations and backgrounds.
New York was named the rudest city in America and the sixth most unfriendly city in the world. Due to their fast paced daily environment, New Yorkers can come off as rude, arrogant, and unkind. In Hawaii those behaviors are extremely disrespectful, but being pushy is normal in New York. When we meet someone with different mannerisms as us, it can come off as something it’s not. Patience will lead to realization and give us more compassion towards different people. We can’t always assume that someone is out of character when they’re just being themselves.
6. Remaining calm is key.
Take a moment to breathe. Most times stress erupts from us not staying calm in any given situation. If we get upset, the customer gets more upset and it’s downhill from there. When someone you’re helping becomes flustered for whatever reason, do not mirror their response or talk back or talk over them. Speak slowly, allow them to express their concerns, try your best to understand where they’re coming from, and acknowledge their emotions while controlling your own.
7. Take breaks.
Maybe you’re struggling to work through your own stress in personal life and you’re taking it out on people at work. Remember to remove yourself from certain situations when you feel like it’s not something you can handle. Rather than adding to your stress, step out, take a break, or in extreme situations you can even deny offering the service all together. Ultimately, whatever option will give the customer the best experience is the way to go.
Your actions are meaningful. No matter how great you are at your job, how you treat people will establish long lasting relationships with customers even when issues don’t get resolved. Quality work is what clients expect, but finding a quality worker is what keeps them coming back. The relationship you build with people will outweigh any bad experiences they encounter with your business and you can count on good reviews by simply showing them you care.
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Samara Towers does We Are More's PR & Marketing which includes writing our blogs! She was born and raised in Hawaii and graduated from Corban University with a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing. She produces content to give our audience more insight and opinions on technical solutions big and small.