For every business or service provider, customers are the bloodline by which they live - or die. One of the most popular business tips regarding customer service says, “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us, we are dependent on him…” While speculations have been made as to who said those words, no one argues about whether they are true.

Customers tend to come in different moods and personalities. On some days, you could have happy and easy-going ones. On other days, you will encounter difficult customers. Dealing with difficult customers, therefore, is an important skill to cultivate in building a successful business.

As you read, you’ll see what it means for a business to provide efficient customer service, how it affects your business’ success, and tips and tricks for dealing with difficult customers.

Importance Of Providing Positive Customer Service

- Puts You Ahead of Your Competitors

- Better Sales and Brand image

- Boosts Customer Retention

- Higher Conversion Rate

Puts You Ahead of Your Competitors

Customer experience puts you miles ahead or behind your competitors on the market. If you offer similar products or services to another business, sometimes it isn’t the quality of the product that gives you a competitive advantage. It is how the customers are treated when they patronize or try out your products. Thus, the experience you provide your customers determines if they come back around or pop into the next street instead. This includes the tactics you use when dealing with difficult customers.

Better Sales and Brand Image

If you run an online business, this applies more to you. Jeff Bezos of Amazon once said “make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might tell six friends. If you make your customers unhappy on the internet, they can tell 6,000 friends.” Given that the world is becoming completely digitized, one angry customer can cost your organization a lot of money. It takes just one viral, angry post. Make no mistakes about this, however. The six friends in the physical world matter too.

A satisfied customer will likely tell their folks, by word of mouth, about your business. If the first positive customer’s folks tell their folks, and the second does the same, imagine what ripple effect that will have on your business sales and overall brand image. Flip this around. What if that’s an angry customer? That would be a huge problem! You must therefore learn how to deal with difficult customers if you will prevent these kinds of occurrences.


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Higher Customer Conversion Rate

HelpScout tells us that great customer service has caused 86% of first-time customers to become loyal customers. Good customer service includes proper customer crisis management. You can turn an upset customer into an advocate for your business with the right customer service. Customers hardly expect a hundred percent perfectiom. Most of them just want to know that you are willing to take care of their demands. Thus, you must master the art of dealing with difficult customers. Oh yes, it’s an art.

Boosts Customer Retention

Positive customer service can also result in customer retention, which is more affordable and safer than having to scout for new customers. This is especially useful when introducing new brands and products from your company. It saves you the cost of marketing afresh and provides options for your existing customers.

Tools that Enhance Positive Customer Service

Building a successful business, nowadays, requires you to put your business online. With the following tools, you can impress your customers and reduce the number of upset customers in your business.

1. An eCommerce Store

It helps automate the buying process. It reduces the stress of manually processing sales, reducing the chances of mistakes or backlogs in order processing. When you set up an eCommerce store with the Strikingly free website building tool, your customers can purchase from you or hire you directly from your website.

2. Website LiveChat

The LiveChat feature lets your customer chat with you in real-time. Your customer service providers must always be at the other end of the chat to attend to feedback and complaints. A Strikingly website comes with an in-built live chat feature which you can activate as you wish. With this feature, you can make your customers feel heard, as they have the impression that they are talking with you in real time.


Image taken from Strikingly user

3. Email and Social Media Integration

Customers need to be able to contact you whenever they have a complaint. A Strikingly website allows you to integrate your email and social media accounts. This makes it easier for customers to reach your team directly whenever they have a complaint or even positive feedback.

The Do’s And Don'ts of Dealing With Difficult Customers

Before we consider how to deal with difficult customers, there is something you must know. Customer service is everyone’s cup of tea at your business. Ideally, you should have a dedicated customer service team. However, everyone who gets to relate directly or indirectly with your customers must have basic business skills. This includes how to deal with angry customers.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help when you are dealing with difficult customers.

The Dos

1. Be obvious about listening

2. Be empathetic

3. Maintain a Calm Demeanour

4. Provide Prompt Solutions

5. Get Support

6. Give Support

1. Be obvious about listening

When dealing with difficult customers, you want them to know that you are paying attention. Practice active listening. Find out what has your customer on edge. Minimize interruptions or asking questions they've already answered, as this can make them angrier. Listening patiently while giving off an interested body language, shows them hints of remorse and care even before you start tackling their problems.

2. Be Empathetic

Empathy begins from the heart. This means that you should feel it as much as you act it. You must genuinely care about your customers. As you hear them talk about their displeasure or challenge, try to remember how bad a letdown can be. Even if what the customer is talking about doesn't strike you as a problem, empathize with how they feel anyway. Empathy lets you meet your customer halfway. It lets them feel seen and gives you the ability to treat their issue as important. Learn more about empathy marketing from this Strikingly blog post.


Image taken from Strikingly product

3. Maintain a Calm Demeanor

You must stay calm when dealing with difficult customers. Some of them will communicate respectfully. Some others will throw every care to the winter wind and just go bonkers. Stay put, regardless. No matter what, don’t lose it. That way, you keep your head clear, and when upset customers eventually settle, they might remember your impeccable performance and respect you for it.

4. Provide Prompt Solutions

To avoid spending the whole day in one spot with an angry customer, start thinking of a solution to the customer's problem while they are still talking. If it's an issue that can be resolved right away, get to it. If it's something that'll require time, let them know, and ensure to follow up until the issue is resolved. Either way, do something productive about the problem or get someone who is in a better position to do it.

5. Get Support

When a customer is upset, and you can't handle it alone, you might want to call in support. Certain scenarios usually require more than one staff, especially when your department isn't in sync with what the customers are searching for or need a solution to. It helps when the customer gets suspicious. Emotions may make customers think you're lying to them or you want to be dubious. Second or third affirmations from your colleagues will diffuse the situation and strengthen upset customers’ trust in you.

6. Give Support

As much as possible, help your customer solve the problem. Do not just give the solution, do it with them every step of the way. If you can solve it efficiently without their input, do so. This will take the burden of the problem away from them.

The Don'ts

1. Unnecessarily Interrupting an Angry Customer

2. Being Confrontational

3. Nonchalance

4. Taking Offenses Personally

5. Delayed Responses


Image taken from Strikingly product

1. Unnecessarily Interrupting an Angry Customer

Do not frequently interrupt a difficult customer, especially when their emotions are high. Unnecessary interruptions give them a sense of unimportance and either get them more enraged or put you in a tighter corner.

2. Being Confrontational

Another thing you don't want to do while dealing with difficult customers is to fight back, especially when they are very upset. Do not get defensive or try to justify the situation. Even if you are right, gently point the customer’s attention to that. Fighting back only escalates the situation.

3. Nonchalance

Do not let your body language or response give the impression that you don’t care. Especially when they are angry or upset. Customers will be watching for a reaction while they communicate how they feel about a situation. Any perceived nonchalance usually makes the issue worse. And customers never forget how they were treated, especially if they were treated badly.

4. Taking Offenses Personally

No matter how insulting or demeaning a difficult customer might sound, their issue is never really with you. Many times, they just want to get their problems solved. Sometimes, they may have been experiencing a crisis that has absolutely nothing to do with you. You already know everyone gets those. Never take their affronts personally when dealing with difficult customers.

5. Delayed Responses

Customers get more irate when there's a delay in response to their needs. This happens more in eCommerce businesses . Delayed responses put dents on your brand. Give the customers due dates for issues that can't be settled immediately. Ensure to keep up with the dates and communicate promptly whenever changes have been made.

Dealing with difficult customers requires a lot of patience and emotional intelligence. However, with the right tools, you can make it easier for yourself or your team. If you run an online business, then you should have a website. Your website should have features that make it easy for your customers to reach you.

A Strikingly website allows you to integrate your email and social media platforms on your website. You can also add your customer service number to allow for direct calls. Don't forget the Strikingly live chat feature which allows customers to chat with your customer care unit directly. Of course, you can sign up more than one person on the customer care team. That way, you can attend to more than one customer at a time. For instance, here at Strikingly, we have a dedicated team of professional customer care service providers to attend to our customers' needs. Got any more questions, go ahead and ask them! Just go to our website. We'll be waiting for you.