“Don’t let your mood dictate your manners.”
Working with unprofessional and disrespectful customers is an unfortunate yet inevitable reality that we must face. Whether they’re always asking for more than you’re willing to give or demanding unrealistic deadlines, how you respond can make the difference between losing customers and satisfying customers.
Let’s check these tips on how to deal with rude customers.
1- Never take it personally
In difficult situations, customers may express nervousness, disappointment, or anger, but this should not be treated as a personal attack. Taking clients’ comments personally makes us adopt a defensive attitude, which usually worsens the situation.
By keeping a positive attitude and remembering that the client is not always right, you can ease tension and improve communication. Keep in mind that tough clients can be a challenge, but they can also be valuable learning experiences.
2- Don’t stoop to their level
No matter how bad a client can get and how unreasonable a customer can be, your professional reputation is not worth a moment of glory. Hold your composure and remain fact-based in your responses. The moment that you lose your ability to stay calm, nothing you say will hold any merit.
Always remember that you can stand up for your firm and push back on unrealistic or unfounded remarks professionally.
3- Remember who you’re talking to
You don’t need to love your customers all the time (although it would certainly be nice), and not all customers are winners. So, during those times that you don’t like your clients, you still need to remember one important fact: they are paying you for the work you do and are – in a way – keeping the lights on in your business. So, while you may not love the customer and may disapprove of their style and approach, keep in mind that they’re still paying customers who value what you provide.
4- Leave a Trail of Accountability
Recording (or taking note) meeting minutes and sending official communication gives you the ability to document key agreements that can serve a future purpose. It may seem tedious, but this documentation can pack a powerful punch.
Deliberately taking credit for your actions, as well as clearly recording customer decisions, will naturally build a written history over time. If your client or customer does begin to deviate from their prior commitments or make demands that counter previous agreements, the written history over time will help you hold the client accountable.
5- Keep your records organized
As with the trail of accountability, general cleanliness of record-keeping – time charges, billing dates, invoices, and other basic documentation – enables you to focus the customer on facts. This is a particularly useful strategy when dealing with a client who often speculates, makes unfounded claims, and generally just twists the facts in order to put pressure on you.
During times of dispute or disagreement, well-organized records let you quickly and easily manage the narrative of information and provide evidence that supports your position.
6- Don’t overcommit
Truth be told, when the customer is relentless with their demands, we sometimes give in just to end the conversation. Don’t make that mistake, no matter how tempting it may seem!
When working with unprofessional customers, be economical and deliberate with words, and avoid speculating. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck in a worse position where you’ve committed to dates and terms they wanted for short-term relief.
WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣
📌Speculate: form a theory or conjecture about a subject without firm evidence.
📌Unworkable: unable to function or be carried out successfully; impractical.
📌Out of touch with reality: to no longer have a firm or clear understanding of real life; to lose one’s ability for clear, rational thought.
📌Intuitive: using or based on what one feels to be true even without conscious reasoning; instinctive.
📌Anticipate: regard as probable; expect or predict.
PHRASAL VERBS ✍
📌Deal with (something): to manage a situation and try to make it better.
“Our service department deals with customer complaints.”
📌Look after (someone/something): to take responsibility for something (“take care of”)
“You said you want to return this product, right? I’d be happy to look after that for you.”
📌Up in the air: it has not yet been completely settled or planned.
📌Between a rock and a hard place: when there’s no easy way out or a good solution. Whatever you do, whichever option you choose, the outcome will not be ideal.
📌4 skills to Develop Emotional Intelligence https://www.englishpriority.com/4-skills-to-develop-emotional-intelligence/
📌How to run effective meetings https://www.englishpriority.com/how-to-run-effective-meetings/
📌Expressions to Help You Sound More Polite in English https://www.englishpriority.com/expressions-to-sound-more-polite/
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