It can be difficult to know how to respond if someone you’re attempting to serve is disrespectful. A burst of hostility can be shocking even if you regularly deal with consumers and clients, and you may rapidly find yourself in a tough situation.
But with customer service, you should always uphold professionalism even if you have to face rude customers. You must ensure that you don’t wear your emotions on your sleeves when dealing with this kind of customer.
How you deal with customers, rude or not, will reflect on the brand you’re working for. And if you consistently deliver good customer service, they will more likely do business with your company again, as 93% of customers have reaffirmed in a HubSpot Research. To further emphasize, 65% of consumers in another study have looked elsewhere after a poor experience.
That said, it’s important that the customer service you deliver is consistent. It may be more difficult with rude customers, but it is not entirely impossible to turn them into satisfied, loyal patrons.
5 steps on how to deal with rude customers
Rude customers are among the most difficult types of consumers to deal with, so it is always best to be prepared when they come your way. Here are five useful steps in dealing with rude customers.
Step 1: Identify why the customer is being rude
To better understand the problem, you must look beyond the hostile attitude and identify what prompted the customer to be rude in the first place.
It may be from poor service experience, a bad product received, a long wait time, or just a bad day. Whatever the reason is, you should first take the time to listen and not lose your temper.
You can ask some questions in a light tone and be careful not to provoke the customer further.
Step 2: Put yourself in the shoes of the customer
When you already know the problem and reason why the customer is being rude, it’s better to be the bigger person and put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Understand where they are coming from by viewing the situation from their perspective.
May it be a grumpy senior citizen, a frustrated salaryman, or a touchy teenager—you must gauge their level of understanding when it comes to their cases and practice empathy.
Step 3: Use complimentary words
This technique is useful in dealing with rude customers, as you don’t want to fuel their rudeness and anger by letting out unnecessary, defensive statements.
The power of compliments has been proven effective in changing people’s attitudes and behaviors. A few kind words and expressions of gratitude can turn aggravating situations the other way around.
The customer may calm down and realize that you can set aside their rudeness in the name of good service. It can de-escalate the situation into a much more lighthearted exchange of words.
Step 4: Offer solutions
After settling them down with kindness and complimentary words, you can now proceed with offering solutions to their problem.
One of the main reasons a customer is rude is a bad experience or bad purchase. So the best way to appease rude customers is by reassuring them that these bad experiences will be resolved.
Discuss in detail how you plan to fix the issue or compensate for bad service, and include ways to ensure that the customer won’t experience it again. This lets them know that the company is dedicated to improving customer experience.
Step 5: Fix the issue alongside the customer
Once you’ve offered solutions, you can offer to fix the issue alongside them. This ensures that the customer knows your brand is committed to seeing the issue through to the end and will not simply abandon them after relaying the solution.
With this, you can now smoothly end the conversation between. Do not disregard any closing messages from the customer and assure them that the problem would not happen again.
Dealing with rude customers daily
Rude consumers are an unavoidable part the daily life anyone in customer-facing roles, including agents, sales personnel, and brand managers.
When dealing with an unpleasant customer, keep in mind that you can’t control how they act, but you can control how you react. Don’t be tempted to treat them the same way if they don’t respond in a calm manner.
It is always best to know these five useful steps by heart for a more systematic and effective way of dealing with rude customers.