When I started to work in the customer service department I had already known that there would be a “difficult” customer or two but to be honest some were way crazier than I expected them to be. There were customers who would tell you anything just to get what they want and come up with some absolutely strange stories.
After a while I learnt how to deal with them but I know that this is not the easiest thing – especially because you just don’t forget their stories when you leave your work at night. For all those that are going to start somewhere in customer service, this blog may help you to deal with all the struggles customers are able to cause.
Of course there are a lot of friendly customers but there are other ones that try to make you see red. The most important thing to do in such a situation is to keep calm, dissemble it and just keep smiling.
Sometimes the best tactic is to agree with their opinion. However, in other cases you need to disagree. For instance I once talked to a customer who thought that our staff were totally incompetent and not good enough. I simply could not accept this accusation and, by the way, nobody should have to. No one should have to accept being slandered at work.
I tried to calm this irate customer down and told him in a friendly way that we are competent and that we try to do our best every day. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes and it is important to accept those even as a customer. Of course, you do not want to lose the customer because retention is the most important thing for a company – but you do not have to put up with everything!
In addition there might be some very funny customers that come up with very improbable stories.
As I work at a company that sells work wear and outdoor clothing, a lot of people are coming to our shop in our clothes. But there was this one family that was completely equipped with our stuff from head to toe. It looked kind of crazy but it was also very nice to see that they all like our products.
However, after I talked to them for a while they really asked me if we also sell suits and dresses. We don’t sell waterproof dresses or steel-toed high heels! At this point I really had to suppress my laughter. But then they, in all seriousness, asked me if we sell clothing for animals. The only thing I could think about then was “Are you kidding me? You must be really joking!” but I had to treat them as though their question made sense.
In situations like that it can be quite difficult to find the right words but, just like dealing with an angry customer, the best thing is to stay friendly.
In the area of customer service you will get to know all different types of people and it can be difficult to deal with them. But remember that everybody is different and you have to accept them and their behaviour. So my main advice is to keep calm, stay friendly and just keep smiling ☺️
When you come home from work spend time with somebody you like and try to not think about the awkward customers you talked to. Don’t take things too personally!
Kathleen is a German citizen who interned for us thanks to the Erasmus Plus programme. We hope she learned a lot from her time with us, including how to do top notch digital content. As well as writing content, Kathleen has a significant expertise in graphic design.
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