The difficult customer

I was just reminded of “Customer From Hell.” CFH is someone who finds things that are slightly out of place and demands that you make the situation right by giving her exactly what he believed was correct. For instance, looking at a table full of different products, picking the one she wants, and looking for the lowest price anywhere near the product and that is what he wants. How do you deal with CFH?

  1. Apologize. Its not hard. Its nothing personal, (I mean its “the company” apologizing, not you personally) and it stops defensiveness. Be careful what you apologize for. You apologize for the “confusion”
  2. Blame the “Policy”: “I’d like to give you everything in the store for free, but our policy is very strict about not allowing that. Darn that policy!” (Paraphrase please)
  3. Try to find something that will make things somewhat clearer, even though it may make nothing clearer at all. Move something, or tell them you will try to make things clearer when you have time.
  4. Thank you for pointing out the problem. Make them feel that they are contributing something and that their opinion is welcome. (This can be the difficult part)
  5. Mean it. You may not mean it at the time you are saying it, but a complaint is a complaint, and some people that haven’ t complained about the same thing might just never come back, because we’re a bunch of rip off artists. We need all the customers.
  6. Compliment. A CFH still spends a lot of money. You can’t always please them but any complement, or even a smile with yet another apology will soothe some of the hard feelings, because they aren’t getting what they want.
  7. If you objectively find what they are referring to confusing enough. Give it to them (if you have the authority) You don’t want to be unfair. You’d rather be taken advantage of, than have a customer believe they are being taken advantage of (or ripped off.)
  8. Make them your friend. Try to keep their interests in mind. If you see something you know they like on sale, mention it to them, or mention something that is a good buy, or perhaps something that is related that you have in the clearance area. You can’t lose, if you make it hard to get mad at you. Good luck.

Note: I’ve mixed up the genders because a CFH can be either.

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