Difficult customers are a natural part of doing business in the modern world. You’ll have to deal with everyone from the angry to the just plain psychotic. Whilst there are those who’re only going to cause you trouble, there are those who can be turned into loyal customers.
Think about it like this. They’re that passionate about your product that they’ve taken the time to irritate you. At least they’re not apathetic, they want your product to work. Let’s take a look at how you can harness this passion and turn them into loyal customers.
#1 Address Them
Address any concerns they have directly. Interact with them and do what you can to make sure they’re happy. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time to do. Some people appear angrier than they actually are over extremely small things. A quick fix, or even just a comment from you, can mean they consider you an attentive company that cares about its customers.
As a result, they have no problem coming back to you in the future. It’s not the fact there was a problem it’s the fact you’ve taken the time to help them personally.
How should you address someone, though? This is where the difficulties come in because you need to communicate in an appropriate way. Let’s take a look at some top tips for getting this right:
- If you have something to apologise for, start out any message with an apology. You don’t have to start gushing over your apology. Just keep it simple and keep it short.
- Mention the points that the person brought up to demonstrate that you’ve listened to them. Make sure your answer addresses this point.
- Cut the corporate nonsense. Nobody wants to listen to a paragraph about how grateful you are for their message. Corporate garbage will only cause people to skip through your message.
- Invite them to contact you again. Even if they don’t, it’s vital that you leave your communication lines open to show that you’re willing to keep the dialogue going back and forth.
- Never leave the reply too long. The chances are the person will have moved on if you leave it too long. Plus, you need to remember that a quick reply shows how determined you are to do your best by your customers.
Finally, make sure you never rise to any insults or any derogatory statements. This will only make you look unprofessional, even if the difficult person happens to deserve it.
#2 Compensate Them
So someone is angry that you haven’t done something correctly. Regardless of how right or wrong they are, you have a golden opportunity to make them into a loyal customer. Give them something as a way of apology. It doesn’t matter who’s right and who’s wrong. Just give them something that’s of low intrinsic value, but shows you care enough about them and their complaints.
#3 Group Them
You can’t directly address every difficult person in the world. This is especially true for bigger companies that may interact (indirectly) with thousands of people every week. Instead, see if you can spot any trends in what people are not happy with. You’ll always get the occasional lunatic who doesn’t seem to realise something incredibly simple, but if you start to notice people complaining about the same things it’s time to act.
Act by directly addressing these problems. You’ll stop any further complaints on the issue in the future. At the same time, you’ll have no problems taking a significant amount of these people and making them into new loyal customers without even speaking to them directly.