How do you elegantly and effectively deal with upset and oftentimes impolite clients?
This is always a tough situation and a situation that many in the service industry face daily.
What do you say when emotions are high, the situation is charged and the client is always right, even when they are not.
What are the steps you can take to effectively navigate these confrontations regardless of where the blame is to be placed?
Center yourself- try to be as calm as possible. It’s hard when someone may not be showing you respect or is being rude. Take a deep breath. Show kindness and be calmly receptive. Visualization of the issues being positively resolved with an assist in this process.
Listen and acknowledge- most people are frustrated because they feel they are not heard. Use active listening skills to understand and acknowledge the issue. You do not have to acknowledge fault to hear the issue at hand and relay that you want to resolve the issue.
Offer a solution or ask for time – when you offer a solution give a timeline with actionable items or if you need more time to resolve the issue ask for it and make sure to follow up so that the client knows you are taking the issue seriously.
Accept that not every issue can be resolved or have a solution that will please everyone. Some people may not be happy regardless of what you do. Find solace in knowing you tried your best to solve the issue and you addressed the concerns.
Note: If you need to set boundaries because the client is being aggressive and yelling at you can calmly state that you are removing yourself and that you will involve your superior to manage their concerns. You can also ask to continue this conversation at a later point when everyone is calm.