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Dealing with difficult customers

What are your suggestions for dealing with difficult customers? - by Community Mailbox
Why are they difficult? What makes him or her difficult? Who labeled the person as difficult? How are they difficult?

I need to find the answers to the questions above. Understanding each one most likely will change the definition of difficult to one of misunderstanding. Communication was lost in the past somewhere or somehow.

Recently I visited a client that has called us 4 times. The 3 previous times our techs walked away from the customer 2 times without collecting a fee, the 3rd person walked away with a service charge. Our history labeled this person as difficult and a time waster. The 4th time she called I requested to take the call and discover what was going on.

We did the task we were called for and other jobs at our price. I ask who was difficult. It was our techs that were difficult and not the customer.

Once in awhile you will receive a customer that knows what they need, knows what they want and knows what price they are willing to pay. When I am determined I am persistent, consistent, and confident, resilient, and stubborn. I guess that could be defined as difficult. To a weaker person. - by rich34232
Oh! What a topic! I had a bitter experience (according to my Front officer) with a client who wanted to buy a kitchen appliance from. The first time he came we developed a cordial relationship which distracted me from explaining certain things to him (paying into company's account). When he finally decided to buy my product, I gave him an invoice and asked him in the bank. He got so upset that he used all manners of words on me. His point was that he spent several minutes with me telling me his plans for the day, and I didn't mention bank payment once! What was my perception and my response? I kept quite while he rained abusese on me, apologised for not explaining our payment system and offered to assist him pay in the bank.
Even though the client was difficult, I was determined to seal that deal and looked forward to more deals from the same customer. - by DonKenny1
Difficult to generalize without specific details, both objective and subjective.

Sometimes, unknowingly, we could be the cause of the difficulty. We should be willing to introspect and learn. One way to find out this is to send in another salesperson to handle the customer.

Sometimes, the customer could be the cause. There are some customers we should be willing to let go.

There are also times when gap in mutual communication is the cause. Open minded discussions could help resolve at least some of these situations. Sometimes, leaving out the contentious issues and approaching from another completely different angle could help.

In sum, we need to know more to answer this question.

Ganesan. - by ezynes
Sales is first and foremost a "People" business and people's behaviors vary greatly. Those of us engaged in personal selling sooner or later are likely to encounter people whose behaviors do not meet our expectations. A common yet unfortunate response is to label (e.g., Difficult Customers) these "People", not the behaviors (e.g., angry, impossible, rude, hostile, manipulative, problematic, aggressive). From "there" (frame of reference/frame of mind) things (e.g., situation, behaviors) can go down hill quickly with resources (e.g., time, attention) and opportunities being misdirected and/or squandered.

Ultimately WHAT we think about and HOW we think about it directly impacts the reality we experience including the inner resources (e.g., behaviors) available to us at the time. Keeping our attention on what we want (e.g., provide exceptional customer service to everyone) instead of what we do not want (e.g., "Difficult Customers") is a principle of success that will bring us closer to achieving our desired outcomes. Let us stay the course. - by Jeff Blackwell
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