A couple of years I had a call from a customer service manager working in the paper industry. He wanted me to organize a seminar for his team, on how to deal with difficult customers. I had several telephone conversations with the administrator of the organization- dates, times and come to understand your business. If I had to describe his style on the phone that I would use words like, serious, cold, dry and a little impatient.
I began to understand that if I was one of its customers then it could have been a bit “difficult.” No doubt he knew his business and I do not think he was a bad person, but warm and welcoming – forget it. In reality, very few customers are really difficult. And I hear you say – “we have them all.” However, most customers in the world are reasonable people, and whether they are or arent, if you want their business, then you have to deal with them.
They can get “difficult” from time to time if they feel they have been subjected to fraud. It is the way of dealing with that will determine whether they remain a problem, or you can turn around. Difficult customers and situations often occur because some part of our core service has failed or that the client perceived to have failed. We have not delivered on time, the client has the wrong product, it not working or is not what the customer expects.