CEOs & Founders: Best practice when talking to difficult customers?

Like all emotions, anger is valid. That is the first and primary lesson to understand as a business owner. There will be times when your customer might become frustrated with the price of a product or service. Rationality is essential in this case as you do not want to fight fire with fire. We have asked CEOs and founders about the best practices to deal with difficult customers.

Dealing with angry or dissatisfied customers is always going to be difficult. So you have to be polite yet stand your ground. But once in a while, you’ll face a customer who just isn’t willing to listen. You’ll keep trying to explain or convince them, yet they won’t understand. So it’s important to know when to back down and compromise. You can’t keep talking to a wall and expect it to understand you. Give them a refund or anything they’re asking for to calm them down.

Alex Williams, CFO of Findthisbest

The best way to deal with a difficult customer is through active listening. When you’re dealing with a difficult, it’s important to make them understand that you and they are on the same team. You should validate the customers’ feelings and thoughts when it comes to your products or services. However, don’t admit that the business is at fault, as all the liability would fall on your shoulders. Ideally, you should consider customer feedback and assure them that such an issue won’t happen again. Active listening helps you improve relationships with difficult customers. It assures them that you as a business are doing your best to help resolve the issue.

Amy Wampler, Founder of Spartan Mechanical

My advice would be to take the customer’s frustration seriously, but not personally. Actively listen to what the consumer says. When confirmed, you can understand their frustration, thank them for communicating the issue and reassure to get back to them with a solution

Peter Varadi, CEO of MarketGap.Pro

Adopting the approach that the customer is always right may help sometimes, but not always. So, it’s best to tap into the consumer’s mind and understand why they feel this way. That’s when reflective listening can help you get to the bottom of the situation. As a result, you can take immediate action. That’s because you analyze the situation from a critical standpoint.

You show concern for your customer’s concerns, which helps build rapport. This is one way to calm down the client in a rational and respectable manner. Additionally, you shouldn’t take anything personally. Remember that anger is natural, and your job is to resolve the issue.

Mitt Wilson, Founder of Metals Investing

You must never lose your cool when dealing with a difficult customer. You might find it challenging to do so. After all, unaccommodating customers can be super frustrating, and the last thing you want to do is stay calm. But, being a bigger person will only throw a positive light on your brand, improving your reputation.

Maintain a level tone of voice and try to understand your customer’s concerns. This will show them that you’re willing to improve and help them out. So, they’re more likely to calm down and trust you.

Remember that happy customers are the key to higher sales. So, do everything you can to understand their point of view and solve their problem. This way, they’ll even refer you to other people, propelling your business toward success.

Perry Zheng, CEO of Cash Flow Marketplace

The best practice to deal with difficult customers is to build a rapport with them through empathy. You will have to put yourself in their shoes. Focus on the source of their frustration, and show them that you understand what they are going through. Explain to them that previous customers have also been in the same situation, which can easily be resolved. By empathizing with their problem, you can help to keep them calm while sorting out the issue.

Patrick Smith, Editor-in-chief of Firesticktricks