Tis the Season for Difficult Customers
It was interesting to see our pre-workshop feedback forms for our retail group below. We had asked people to fill in how their patience/listening and temper management skills were with difficult customers. They all responded that they were very good actually…and we wondered why we were doing the course with them!
Often we don’t know when it is us being belligerent, unfriendly or withdrawn from a customer who is having a difficult time with our service. We tend to place it all at their feet. When Ruth, our facilitator, read the pre-workshop feedback she was immediately able to see the contradictions in some of the answers e.g. I keep my cool and am friendly, but customers who speak down to me and treat me like I’m stupid really *&%$#! Who do they think they are????!!!!
Through the various discussions and exercises Ruth facilitated during the workshop, the team was able to see how revealing their body language, facial expressions and language choice were when physically facing their difficult customers. They became very aware that those inner thoughts translated to clues and signs in their behaviour that the customer was picking up and, most likely, becoming more upset and agitated with their service.
Know thyself – get over thyself – then serve the customer with the focus on a productive solution and the bigger picture of creating a satisfying customer experience.