Customers are a key element in any business. Without customers, there would be no reason why one would start a business. There are different kinds of customers; some are vocal, others are silent, you may find very aggressive ones and others may be inquisitive. All these kinds of customers are important and have to be understood if any business is to succeed.
Whatever temperament your customers have, once a while, they may be upset while interacting with your employees. How then do you manage a difficult customer?
The first thing you need to do is to empathize with the customer. Try and put yourself in the situation that the customer is in. Listen keenly while giving the customer confirmation that you feel him. If you are handling the upset customer on call, giving responses such as 'yes', 'I hear you'; 'I understand' will assure the customer that you are interested in solving the cause of their agitation.
Paraphrasing what the customer has said is also important in ensuring that you have clearly understood the problem. Remember not to interrupt your customers while they vent their feelings. Be calm and focused.
Always apologize where necessary. Most people will calm down when they hear that you are apologetic and are willing to assist them.
While maintaining a calm tone and being polite, offer solutions to the problem at hand. Give various options and involve the customer in decision making. Clearly outline the benefits and downside of every choice that the customer has.
Always remember that the customer is always right regardless of how irrational their problem may seem. As a business owner, train your customer care department on good customer service practices.