If I were to do a tally of all the tough customers I’ve had to deal with over the years, my head would probably explode! It’s really hard to deal when you’re embroiled in an unpleasant interaction. So hard to tell yourself to be the bigger person — to take one for the company when they broke something because they didn’t read the first page of the manual warning them of what not to do.
Tough customers are even worse when they aren’t even a customer yet at all. How do you get through to them — overcome the walls they put up in front of them — or find a way to get through to those with limited intelligence or stubborn misguided beliefs?
There’s no easy one-size-fits all answer, but this infographic does offer some really solid advice:
Looking through the tough customers and their individual personality traits listed, I really tried to identify which were the worst. I’m not sure my personal worst is actually listed, but I’ll get into that in a minute.
The complainer can be one of the easiest to deal with, provided they’re contacting you because they want a specific solution such as a refund, replacement, or just someone to echo their frustration and offer an apology. Same goes for the expert and the pessimist — they can be beat down eventually with kindness and tact.
The overly agreeable and the staller are tough cookies indeed. Neither is typically in a hurry, meaning they take up lots of time. And worse, you can never really know just what’s on their mind, at least not without painstakingly probing for the issue until they finally give it up.
My worst wasn’t listed, but can easily come in any of the personality packages mentioned in the infographic. For me, it’s the dreaded “Silent Customer.” You know, the type that barely says a word, yet is perfectly comfortable staring at you, or remaining on the other end of the phone in utter silence while you’re trying to figure out a way past their guard?
Give me a stubborn southern type, who practically speaks a different language, and loves to scream everything they say while waving their finger in your face any old day over the silent type — makes me cringe just thinking about them!
Who’s your least and most favorite tough customer?
Main Image Credit: Jim Wimpey/Flickr