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customer service

Customer Service Tips: How to Deal with Challenging Situations

Everyone who deals with customers, whether on a day-to-day basis or less frequently, will have come across a challenging situation at some point.

How did you deal with situations in the past?

Did they escalate?

Or, did you use your customer service skills to diffuse the situation, resulting in a positive solution that gave customer satisfaction?

Here are 5 helpful points to incorporate into your customer service employees training programme, and, if you feel your own customer service skills could be better, implement them yourself.

  1. It is important to treat each situation according to the issues; there is no one-cap-fits-all action here. To do this you need to listen. Customers, especially the difficult ones, not only want to be heard, they want to see and hear that you are listening and understanding their concerns. Let them speak without interruption, getting everything out, and then you can identify the problem and relay it back to the customer for confirmation. Once confirmed you can focus on the solution to give an effective, satisfying result.


  1. Be aware of your persona and your customer’s persona. Try to match accordingly; if your customer is upset, show empathy, if they are angry, remain calm giving strong, confident answers to their questions. Remember that even if the previous customer has taken you to the brink of anger and frustration, this is a new customer, a new situation, and as such deserves a fair hearing, your help and your respect. So, take a deep breath, smile and show that you care.


  1. Maintain awareness of your customer commitments. No matter what the situation always remain calm, always show that you genuinely care, and always act quickly to resolve the issue. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. How would you like a customer service agent to deal with your problem or situation? You need to be able to relate to the customer on their level. You may have scripts to follow for customer service issues, but sometimes it is more important, more effective, and more rewarding to be human.


  1. Be an expert on your business. There is nothing more frustrating to a customer who has a problem or complaint than dealing with someone who has insufficient knowledge of a business’s service or their products. Don’t let that be you. Learn your trade; know your product range, how they work, common problems, quick fixes and manufacturer’s guarantees. Having this information in your head or at your finger tips will help you to give more confident answers to a customer’s questions, which means that you can focus quickly on a solution and how to make it happen. This will refocus a customer’s negativity more towards positivity and satisfaction.


  1. Remaining positive and always being prepared to help will almost always turn an unhappy customer into a happy customer. If you have a difficult customer, exceed their expectations; go above and beyond what they might expect. Take extra time to listen to their concerns, understand their problem, and provide solutions quickly, even if it means staying late or rescheduling appointments. You will be rewarded with a satisfied customer who hopefully will spread the word that you are a great company to do business with.


If you want to devise a Customer Service training programme to help your staff to deal with challenging situations, talk to Gradvert. We have experience in developing customer service training programmes in many business sectors. Why not read a recent case study where Gradvert worked with Sharps Bedrooms to put their customer service levels at the same high level of their quality products and brand reputation?

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