Difficult customers come in every walk of life. They're unpredictable in terms of when they'll react and what they might do. However, there are some measures you can employ with every difficult customer that will help you both have the best outcome possible.
Customerservicemanager.com has some excellent tips on calming down customers and better business:
1. Emotionally detach yourself from the situation. Instead, concentrate on active listening. Difficult customers may spew discouraging remarks, but you must rise above that and focus on the real problem at hand.
2. Listen! But don't just listen, look and sound like it too. The customer wants to feel heard and validated by encouraging head nods and verbal understanding.
3. Don't say "sorry" more than once. It's overused and has lost its value. If you must use the word, use it in a full sentence instead. Also, ask for the customer's name and use it when speaking with them. It makes them feel even more validated.
4. Be genuine. You don't have to agree with the customer; you just need to acknowledge their feelings. Saying things like "I see what you mean," makes them feel understood.
5. Build rapport. Adding in how you can relate to the situation takes understanding further. The customer will tend to realize that you're a reasonable person who cares about the situation.
Tell us: How have you mended relationships with difficult customers?