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How To Deal With Difficult Customers

Published: 1st Sep 16

Category: Customer Service

How To Deal With Difficult Customers

How To Deal With Difficult Customers

When you work in the retail sector, there will inevitably be times when you need to deal with the occasional difficult customer. Particularly at peak periods, stress levels can escalate and incidences of this nature can rise too.

So how can you successfully navigate a difficult situation with a customer and ensure the best possible outcome?

1. Take preventative action

The best approach is to firstly make sure everything in your business is running smoothly for the customer’s benefit. Prime your staff before peak business periods. Make sure your retail store is fully stocked and well organised, ensure everything is clean and that you’re well staffed.  Train your staff in advance to give an excellent service and ensure your team have all the information they need to help customers at the start of each day. By making it easy for customers you minimise the chances of complaint.

2. Get better at customer service

Train your staff to be efficient, fast and friendly at customer service. Upskill them on the POS systems, merchandising and other customer facing functions. Reward great service to show how much you value it. Customers who don’t have to wait around tend to be happy. Remember to have adequate staffing in place for a successful business, as customers and staff alike invariably get frustrated when there is a gap.

3. Invest in the right tech

The checkout area can be a trouble-spot for retailers.  Ensure it is clean, friendly and well staffed. Invest in the right payment technology and have a manager on hand at busy periods for any queries. Train your staff in the use of quick keys for popular item short cuts. Consider an integrated payment system that links with your POS and removes the need for manual keying. Enable contactless payment. There are a whole host of powerful solutions on the market, so speak to your provider for advice that is tailored to your business.

4. Breathe and empathise

When something does go wrong, take a deep breath, stay calm and empathise with your customer’s experience. Don’t get stressed and protective about your business! Remember, you have a great opportunity to turn a negative around and win a happy and engaged customer by showing that you care, listening to the problem and rectifying it. Say sorry, offer a solution and go the extra mile to ensure a great experience. You can guarantee that the now-happy customer will tell their friends and family about how you turned things around!

5. Review and adapt

Continuously review your business to see where improvements need to be made. Consider using a mystery shopping service for an objective view at the customer experience. Watch what is happening in your premises carefully and get feedback from the team to identify any sticking points.

With focus, energy and great service, you can ensure your customers all enjoy the best possible experience every time they visit your business!


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