Dealing with rude customers

Unfortunately this is something you may have to encounter when running your own business. Customer service is always the part of running my business that I don’t particularly like, and it’s all thanks to the minority and not the majority. 

Some customers either don’t realise or don’t consider that it may only be you that deals with everything and they may not realise then when they are rude or mean that you will take the personally. They just assume this is the best course of action to get what they want out of the situation. 

However, when these people do come along, the best advice I can give is to kill them with kindness, even if it is 100% their fault (and let’s face it, no matter what the sayings say, customers aren’t ALWAYS right, sometimes they are just idiots). 

Here at my top 5 tips for dealing with rude customers:

  1. Kindness

Always start by being kind, no matter how rude they are, or what they may have called you, specially at Christmas time. Make sure you remain calm, professional and kind. Apologise to them in the first couple of sentences for the inconvenience it may have caused them, even if it turns out to be their mistake. Something along the lines of:
“Thank you for contacting me, I am so sorry to hear about this.”

  1. Facts

Then bring in the facts, no matter what the situation there is normally an explanation for it. This could be anything from the delivery company damaging the parcel to the customer entering the wrong information. Try and provide them with as much information as possible. If you have a tracking number then provide this to them (even if it doesn’t give any further information), always check the address is correct when it comes to missing items, if they made a mistake point this out to them in a kind and professional manner and provide physical evidence if possible.

  1. A Solution

Always offer a solution of some kind, whether that is a replacement, resending, redoing or refunding. If it was the customer fault, explain this and offer them something to help fix it, set up a custom listing or send out a (paid for) replacement. Try and offer something, even if it's small, otherwise you could end up frustrating the customer more. You need to be clever about it and make them feel like you’re doing the best you can to help resolve the situation. 

  1. Refunds

Some customers are just not worth it, they will never be happy and there is nothing you can do about it. It won’t be easy to deal with, in fact sometimes it may make you question your whole business (honestly some of them are so mean!) so in these cases it is sometimes just easier to refund and forget about them. I wouldn’t recommend this method if you think you can resolve it and definitely try the other steps first but if they are still unhappy or you’re spending way too much time on them, just refund them and get rid. 

    5. Taking comments on board

If you find that you get a complaint about a certain thing more than twice it might be worth looking into this. If something keeps getting damaged or customers don’t understand something or there are things that just go wrong, take some time to see if there is a way to fix this. Could you get better packaging? Change your delivery company? Add more information to the description? Whatever it is, if you can make the experience better then definitely do!

Dealing with customers isn’t always easy, but when this does happen just think about all the positive things people have said.

Your Cheerleader, Gemma

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