What is the worst nightmare of a shopkeeper? For most, it is usually a talkative customer. But no matter how pesky they might seem, if you satisfy their curiosity, they could become your most loyal customers. Usually, the customers who carefully buy their products are the ones who talk too much. Here is how you can handle them.
8 Effective ways to handle talkative customers
Talkative customer are very hard to ignore and avoid, and they leave us with a raging headache. The following are a few steps on how to avoid being badgered by a talkative customer.
1. Ask to the point questions
Customers when facing a problem which they never have earlier, tend to go on and on about it in extensive detail. They do not realize that they are wasting your time and want to tell you their full story. And you cannot even ignore them by just hanging up or avoiding them because their feedback is very important for your product or service. You must try to gain most of the conversation and information that will benefit you in serving other customers better. Yet if you feel that it is too tiring, try to ask closed questions which will not offer the customer any space to maneuver the conversation. Be precise and to the point and it will prompt short replies from the customer as well. Make a record of these problems which will help you in future when dealing with a similar situation.
2. Remain focused
When dealing with a customer who refuses to stop talking even when he has expressed what he was supposed to, you must be on your guard always. These customers have all the time in the world and are enjoying the conversation, but you must remain focused on your area of concern. When the customer makes an irrelevant comment or gives you some personal information, politely tell him that all that is not necessary and that you would not like to intrude upon their private lives. Still if he continues in this direction, abruptly start talking about his problem and ask him if you have noted everything down correctly. Tell him to listen to you carefully for a while and inform you if something needs to be added. At the end, tell him that now that you know his problem completely, he can rest assured and get on with his other tasks which have been on stand still because he is talking to you.
3. Listen to them carefully and promise action
Sometimes the customer keeps talking about something repeatedly and sounds impatient. This is a sign of the fact that they think their problem is not conveyed properly to you. You must listen closely to the customer and try to decipher what he wants to put emphasis on. Ask prompting questions which will assure the customer that you have understood their problem. Once this is done, you must show them some intent towards solving it. Give them assurance that it will be sorted out soon and the matter is being looked into. Tell them that you will start working on their problem the moment you stop talking to them, this will help in ending the conversation faster. Also, you can tell them that you will be contacting them yourself as soon as you have solved their problem to get their feedback.
4. Respond minimally
As you are the face of your company, to have good customer relationship, you cannot avoid them. You have to respond to their grievances and problems and reply to their questions. But you can make them realize that you are busy and that they are talking up too much of your time by making short responses. Repeating your previous response again and again will also make the customer realize that he has asked you that question earlier too. Do not get dragged into the personal lives of the customer and tell them that this does not concern the matter at hand and will not help in any manner. Avoid making references to previous incidents which were similar to the customers’ problem as that will stimulate the customers’interest and lengthen the conversation.
5. Express your limitations early
Some people may find it rude to set a time limit even before the conversation has taken shape and hence it should be done tactfully. Do not tell your customer that you do not have much time to talk to them and that they should limit themselves. It will offend the customer and reduce your customer loyalty. Make the customer feel important but also show them that you have certain limitations. Talk to them politely and let them know when you think you have understood their problem totally, to avoid dragging the conversation.
6. Do not wait for the customer, be psychological
One mistake that many people do is that they will wait for the customer to stop talking and let them work on something else. But the customer is concerned only about himself and unlike you, has no other concerns than getting his work done. You, however, are answerable to a lot of people and have responsibilities towards other customers too. When you think that the customer has no more to add that might help you, you can end the conversation politely. Dropping hints will not work even if the customer does get them, they will simply ignore it because you are not being direct. Be psychological, say things like Now, before we hang up, I would like to tell you . Or just tell them how nice it was talking to them and how other people waste your time by giving too much of irrelevant information. This is one hint that they just cannot ignore.
7. Drive the conversation
When dealing with a talkative customer, you must not allow him to set the direction of your discussion because he will most definitely be deviated you from your path. You must drive the conversation and not let him change course. Talk shortly, yet politely and offer minimum opportunities to start a new conversation. If you think the customer will not stop talking, it is necessary to be boring and talk about things that the customer has no knowledge about. You may also make him hold on till you do something or talk to somebody to make him feel bored and go away. Do not wait for the customer to end the conversation because you have enough evidence that they are enjoying it. You, however, have responsibilities towards other customers too and cannot waste your time on one.
8. Be honest
One thing that you must do when talking to the customer is that you have be honest, but not blunt. You have shape your thoughts cleverly in such a way that the customer does not get offended but still make it very clear to them that they are not helping you or themselves by talking for so long. When you feel that you have tried everything and the customer is still not changing his stance, be frank with him. Assure him that what he has said has been noted down and they will be worked upon very soon and you will yourself get back to them if there is any misunderstanding. Rephrase whatever information they have given you and let them know that you have not missed anything. Where necessary, ask if they need to add anything more to what they have told you, but it should be relevant. As long as you are courteous and gentle, there is no reason why the customer should get offended.
How to deal with aggressive customers
Just like the Boss, Customers too, are always right! Managing customers whether happy or aggressive is a part of your job. Handling not only satisfied but also aggressive customers too, marks a big difference in your future success graph. Here are some helpful guidelines to help keep everyone happy in times of trouble.
Assist and help each other
Agreed, customers do nag sometimes and blow your head through the ceiling, but at the end of the day, the more leads you earn through you customers, the more will it help you in climbing the ladder of success. So do what it takes to keep your customer always satisfied. There could be a situation where in the customer does not need you, but you may need their help. In such case, it becomes very essential that you deal with the situation courteously. In turn while dealing with another customer, understand how his or her problem can be related to your and try and be as helpful and courteous as possible.
Test your spontaneous effect
Emotions play an important role while dealing with any matter, be it professional or emotional. Anger and haste are the harshest emotions, which can cause you to make the silliest mistake of your life, in turn leaving you feel the regret forever. Few examples can be: hanging up your customers calls, sending a misappropriate email (by mistake), not understanding your customers point of view over matters and stating yourself superior. These reactions can totally blow off your customers to the core. Be careful of your actions, because no matter how annoying your customers may be, they are still the main source of good business and referrals for your organisation over the years.
Buzz your Customer
Not in the literal manner of shooing them off, but give them a personal call when you know things are going out of hand. Just sending across a mail is not enough at times to get the desired result from your potential customers. You need to get involved into a live conversation with your customers to know them better and help solve their queries. An email can at times send across a wrong message, intentionally or unintentionally. Therefore, to avoid a conflict with your customers, who might get upset over a silly issue that can be solved with ease, try to engage in a meaningful conversation. This way you can solve problems on both ends. Understandable that an email is much easier and preferable method to contact your customer, but a phone call is the most influential method to lighten matter over almost anything and everything.
Perform with politeness and self-confidence
Your customer is very dependent on you for information, so make sure you do not hesitate or show lack of concern towards their query. Instead, prove it to them that you are a reliable person whom they can trust, but make certain you do not make false promises while doing so. Give it your best while assisting your customers in time of need. It is only in times of crises when a person turns towards someone whom they can trust and remember in future. Be that particular person for them and in turn be the hero of your organisation. Never forget customers are intertwined with your organisation, always keep your customers happy, as they are the ultimate source of good business.
Always be ready with solutions
Whenever problem occur, make sure you make the best move possible as it puts forth across a lot about you and business. This is one method of how your customers will judge your capability to deal with petty issues. Do not panic in crises, instead take decisions, which are solution oriented, and use the best communication method possible. Every decision you make and the communication process that follow, should be neither defensive nor informative. If you feel not you, but another person can handle the situation in a much better way, do not wait or hesitate. Approach your savior and try to stay away from the situation, rather than complicating it further. Things like these too can put off your customers and ruin the relationship they have with your organisation. Customers are always on the lookout for immediate responses. So, provide them with a quick solution rather than upsetting them further.
How to deal with a rude customer
Rude customers are a part of normal life and business, handling them properly will boost your company’s customer retention abilities. The following are few steps which will help you in dealing with one.
Understand the reason
Nobody is rude to another person just because they want to be so, there is always a reason behind it. If a customer is being rude to you, then you must realize that they are unhappy and annoyed by something. You must find out the source of their discomfort and annoyance to move ahead positively. Do not get into a defensive mode and simply ignore what they are saying just because they are saying it in a rude manner. They have taken out precious time of their day to talk about something then you must realize that it is of utmost importance to them. Satisfying your customers is your duty and you can do this only if you understand what is bothering them. Listen to them calmly and completely and then only you should react.
A simple apology can do wonders of good to you and instantly improve your customer’s mood if provided genuinely. You are the face of your company and your actions will reflect the standards of your employer. Do not take any comments personally because the customer is dissatisfied with your company and not you. They have no other way of making themselves heard and hence are confronting you in this manner. Having spent their hard earned money on your services or products, they deserve every right to be unhappy if it does not meet their requirements. Do not answer back rudely to your customer and be polite and courteous no matter how harsh the situation is. Tell them how important they are to you and your company, reassure them that their problems will not go unnoticed.
The main cause behind your customerâs displeasure is that he wants something which is not being provided to him. He has played his part of the relationship by paying the money and is now expecting you to deliver. And when he is angry, he does not want someone to just listen to his grievances but also provide a good solution to end his suffering. Offer him multiple solutions from which he can choose the best one and then assure him that it will be done in exactly the way he want you to. In a case where your customer is unwilling to accept any of your solution, ask him what he would like and do accordingly. But also inform him of your limitations so that he does not suggest something unrealistic. Show the customer that solving their problem is your priority and that they should listen to you.
Be true to your word
Once you have provided a solution to your customer and they are satisfied with it, act on it as soon as you can. Be honest to your customer about all the facts such as the time it will take or any extra expenditure that they might have to do. Do not make any false comment just to get rid of the customer quickly because if the promise you made is not fulfilled, the customer will be back in an even worse mood. And this time they will not even believe you and might even lodge a complaint. Be frank and honest about everything, maintain complete transparency of the procedure that your company will follow before the problem is solved. This will provide your customer with a clear picture of the events that are to unfold next and will also make him realize that you are not to be blamed and are not responsible for whatever delay is caused.
Pass on to higher authority
As a last resort, when the customer is absolutely adamant to his claims and is refusing to even listen to you, offer him the choice to switch to another customer representative. Some customers who want to be treated importantly believe that talking to higher authorities will solve their problem faster and more efficiently. If the situation demands and you have the liberty to do so, allow the customer to talk to the higher authorities. This may calm down the customer because he will be thinking that now he is talking to somebody of high status and will tone down a bit. In a case where the customer is continuously abusing you, warn him politely that if he keeps going on like this you will have no choice but to hang up.
Utilizing Customer Service as a Yardstick to Beat Competitors
Once you have dealt with the customer in the above-specified way, you can work towards making them loyal. Customer centricity has become a powerful tool that dictates the success of failure of a business today. Organizations that seek to differentiate will need to integrate customer centricity into the very core of their company culture.
These organizations need to come up with powerful touch points that will impact customer perceptions and decisions in addition to improving the existing ones. This, in turn, will help organizations differentiate their brand, provide better customer experience, improve employee satisfaction and loyalty, and improve business results.
1. Using analytics to differentiate customer service
An organization that attempts to differentiate its service is essentially finding out ways to anticipate the needs of its customers and tending to those needs in time. In short, it is striving to become a firm that is easier to do business with. Here is where data analytics can help an organization. Data analytics aid in anticipating, planning and meeting customer expectations even in less than ideal circumstances.
When it comes to analytics, an organization needs to give equal importance to all three forms, including descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analysis. Descriptive analytics deals with the current situation while predictive analysis focuses on responding to actual market conditions and customer behaviors.
Prescriptive analysis uses the intelligence collected from current situations to envision possible scenarios, and provides an optimal solution for each one of them. Striking an appropriate balance between these three models will enable an organization to achieve a more informed decision making process.
2. Tips to use exceptional customer service techniques to differentiate an organization
Customer service needs to work alongside data analytics to provide the end customer with an optimal experience while doing business with the concern. Some of the more efficient ways in which an organization can brush up on its customer service skills include:
3. Getting to know the customer
The foundation for outstanding customer service starts with the customers and what they need. An organization will first need to find out about its customers and their preferences, expectations, etc. This can be done by getting feedback from customers regularly. This will allow the organization to find out what ticks in their customer’s minds and use the same information to educate its employees to deliver expectations.
4. Training the employees properly
The level of customer service in an organization is directly proportional to the amount of training its employees receive in the same field. Many organizations do not focus on customer service during training and allow the employees to learn it on the floor instead.
However, this can be disastrous for the firm in the form of lost customers and huge losses before the employees finally get the hang of things. Hence, providing proper training in customer service while other companies skip the same will allow an organization to differentiate its business from the latter instantly.
5. Empowering the staff
Many customer service representatives work only on basic issues while bigger problems are escalated to seniors or are diverted continuously. An organization wishing to differentiate itself with its customer service will need to empower its staff. For that, it would require practical solutions for all possible issues. This will help the staff deal with issues in a more confident and enthusiastic manner.
6. Balancing different communication channels
An organization will have to balance different communication channels in order to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction. Emails can be considered great for sending information to large audiences. However, don’t forget to use the potential of phone calls. They can offer a more personalized approach to interacting with customers. Personal visits are also good once in a while. They allow the organization to find out what their customers think about their current level of service.
Excellent customer service plays the basis for differentiating a company from its competitors. Every organization would need to adopt measures. It needs to anticipate its customers’ expectations. This helps in working towards reaching the same in order to achieve an excellent level of customer service.