Published November 18, 2020
1. Be Patient
Even though you may feel like what they’re saying is personal, it’s likely that your customer isn’t actually angry at you. They may just be frustrated and don’t realize they’re taking their frustrations out on you. That being said, it can be hard to separate those feelings of anger from work and much easier to lash back at your customer in retaliation.
On these occasions, take a deep breath and an extra moment to listen to what your customer is saying. Try to pinpoint the reason for their anger. Be patient, listen to their concerns, and don’t take their harshness in these instances too personally. Make sure you understand that the customer is human too. Don't take their anger personally or hold it against them. Hopefully they will do the same for you.
2. Explain Your Side
You’re the expert who’s been hired to complete a specific job. If you’re doing something a certain way, there’s a reason.
When you explain your reasoning behind why or how something is being done, it’s good practice to break your explanation down by “chunking”. Chunking is the process of breaking a problem down into smaller, more understandable pieces (or chunks). Tackling one issue at a time allows for a more focused discussion, and makes each chunk more understandable for the customer.
3. Be Open To Compromise
Like the saying goes, the customer is always right. Well, maybe not always, but it’s important to hear them out.
Let the customer know what you plan to do to address their concerns. It might be something simple you can solve over the phone, or you might need to go through the process with them or even spell out your next moves. It may take extra time, but it will help the customer feel heard and at ease.
4. If it’s Important, Stand Your Ground
Sometimes, especially on issues of safety, there is no compromise. In fields like electrical and construction work, deviating from the plan is not an option.
If there’s no room for compromising, don’t be afraid to stand your ground.
It's important to let your customer know how important their business is to you and your business. Thank them for bringing their issue to your attention. Let them know what you plan to do to address their concern and get back to work!