Anyone in a customer or client-facing role would no doubt have experienced dealing with a difficult customer. Maybe they were angry about a rise in cost of a product, or they wanted to complain about the level of delivery of a service, or maybe they were just having a bad day. Unfortunately being on the other end of an angry customer can be an occupational hazard. However there are ways to help diffuse and resolve the situation – ways that can be learned in relevant sales and negotiation skills training in Singapore.
Think Like A Customer
It’s always hard to be confronted with an angry person, especially if they are accusing you (or your company) of having issues or of providing poor service. It’s normal to be taken aback by someone shouting at you over a phone or even in person, and it’s natural to react with anger, frustration or even fear. Negotiation skills training in Singapore will teach you that the best idea is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes – no matter how angry or frustrated they might be – rather than going on the defensive straightaway. For example, being sympathetic and showing that you understand how they feel can help to calm customers or clients down. Saying things like “That must have made you feel frustrated”, can show the customer that you take their complaint seriously. They are also more likely to believe that you’ll try and resolve the issue.
Use Active Listening Skills
We often hear the phrase “active listening”, but what is it exactly? It’s simple really. Active listening means that you are giving the other person your full attention, and giving them a way to explain their grievances in a calm and sympathetic environment. Active listening is also important in that you listen right to the end of their description of the problem, without interrupting or making snap judgements along the way. You can think about a solution after the customer has stopped talking, so give them your full attention while they are talking. If you are seeing the customer or client in person, your body language should also indicate that they have your full attention. This can mean things such as leaning towards them slightly and tilting your head a little to show that you’re listening.
It goes without saying that you should try to minimise any disruptions around you – including your phone or other people. There’s nothing worse for a customer if they feel that their complaints are falling on deaf ears (or distracted ears).
Provide a Relevant Solution
One of the issues for customer service staff is that they want to provide a solution to a problem as quickly as possible. Negotiation skills training in Singapore will show that it is actually better to try to resolve a problem properly, rather than racing to conclusions and providing a “stop gap” solution. Telling the customer about the process for complaint resolution is informative and will help them to understand the steps in the process, but it will also show them that the company will be working on their problem, and it will be fixed at some point.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of a genuine apology. Find high quality companies such as Sales Blueprint® who will be able to offer you negotiation skills training in Singapore and will teach you meaningful ways to acknowledge that validate the customer’s feelings while at the same time showing your empathy and your willingness to solve their issues.