agents confident in their knowledge of how to deal with rude customers

Dealing with Disrespectful Customers with Professionalism and Confidence

Dealing with rude customers ranks among the most challenging aspects of working in customer service. How can you manage your own emotions so that you can calm down and begin looking for a solution? How can you challenge disrespectful behavior without being accused of providing poor customer service?

Businesses deal with all sorts of clients, including the rude ones, on the daily. Here’s a handful of tips on how to deal with rude customers, while keeping your grace — and professionalism — intact. Read on.

What is Excellent Customer Service?

Customer service is essential for businesses of all sizes since it is the reason customers continue to do business with them. Good customer service often involves providing a customer with quick, attentive, and quality service; and ensuring that their concerns and demands addressed promptly reflects well on the organization or business.

When providing first-rate customer service, one does not simply adhere to the best practices, such as respecting customers’ time, maintaining a pleasant demeanor, and providing informed and resourceful resources; they also go above and beyond to surpass the expectations.

customer service team happily assisting clients with a smile

What Causes Rude Customers?

Customers are rather open about their feelings when businesses cannot fulfill their expectations. Nonetheless, some customers may respond rudely because of misplaced expectations or previous unfavorable encounters with the business. In other cases, it’s because they had a bad day or are coping with personal issues. Customers then channel their negative emotions toward customer care representatives.

When a consumer feels disregarded or undervalued, they may think that being confrontational is their only option to have their concerns addressed and resolved. Understanding these motivations allows representatives to put themselves in the shoes of their clients and handle challenging circumstances with tolerance.

The Impact of Rude Customers on Businesses

Customers who are unhappy or frustrated can have a negative impact on the overall health of your business. It can have immediate effects on sales, and it can have a long-term impact on your company in a variety of ways, including an adverse impact on brand reputation.

Here are the main areas where rude customers could affect your business:

High Employee Turnover

Rude clients have a habit of triggering emotional distress and mental strain in employees through their toxic behavior, which could lead to resignation.

Damage to Reputation

Rude consumers offer a reputational risk because of their uncontrollable rage and threatening behavior, which can go to any degree to harm the brand’s name. When a rude customer is dissatisfied with the business, they may likely attempt to tarnish the brand’s reputation to discourage other potential customers from choosing it.

Customer Churn

Nowadays, customers can effortlessly gather company information online. It is very easy for businesses to lose consumers after receiving poor social media reviews. Hence, companies need to be cautious in how they deal with unpleasant customers because some of them are influencers in their respective communities, and their actions may affect other customers within that community.

Brand Loyalty

Rude customers might speak ill of your brand to your most loyal customers, making them hesitate doing business with you. It may force customers who are brand loyal to discontinue future business relationships with such a company.

Reduced Revenues

Sales are certain to suffer because of rude consumers sharing their experience with other customers. With negative word-of-mouth having the ability to spread like wildfire, your customer numbers can decline. And with it, your sales and profit margins follow suit.

an upset customer being rude during a phone call

Tips on How to Deal with Rude Customers

Everyone who works in customer service or in a position that requires dealing with rude or irate customers requires training. It’s even more critical in today’s age of social media. When your primary responsibility is to provide customer service, it matters most that you use your professionalism to settle tense situations.

So, what should you do if you find yourself the target of an outburst of abuse? Here are ways on how to handle rude customers:

1. Stay calm.

The first stage is to remain calm and not react. When confronted with a sudden verbal attack, the natural reaction is to bite back. Be respectful and avoid “fighting fire with fire,” otherwise you risk worsening the situation. Taking a few deep breaths will allow you to gather your thoughts and avoid reacting in a way that makes you look like it is you who’s the aggressor.

2. Probe the real issue and listen.

Although it is tough, listen and try to comprehend the true problem behind rude customers’ ire. Instead of making comments about the matter, ask questions to show that you are not rejecting their outbursts. Instead, using a pleasant and calm approach, ask questions that will help you in finding the root cause of the problem.

3. Repeat the information.

When the customer has finished their story, repeat the facts to them. This shows that you’re on the same page with the customer and confirms that you are listening to them.

4. Empathize with the customer, then apologize.

Whether the complaint is valid or incorrect, apologize if you want to pacify rude consumers. It doesn’t matter if they deserve it; what matters is that you’re seeking to settle the issue and showing regret for the inconvenience.

5. Provide solutions.

Once you’ve determined why the customer is feeling the way they do, offer a solution. You can either ask them what they think should be done or provide convincing responses. Often, the client wants a perfect answer or a speedy response.

If the customer rejects your offered solution, review your internal policies to see if there is anything else you can do to satisfy them. If you give an answer that the customer may find disappointing, try to counter it with a positive message that still addresses their feelings.

6. Thank the consumer for contacting you.

Thank the customer for bringing the problem to your attention. This can help you build rapport with them and set a pleasant tone for your discussion. A simple thank-you to acknowledge their patience and time as you strive to fix the problem is enough.

Also, when a customer provides feedback, whether positive or bad, thank them for sharing their thoughts and helping the organization improve its customer service.

Additional Dos and Don’ts When Dealing with Rude Customers

Sometimes, customers have valid complaints while other times they seem to be angry with no justifiable reason. Regardless of the type of angry customer, there are dos and don’ts on how to handle rude customers effectively.

The Dos

  • Accept Responsibility: If there was any negligence on the business side, we must acknowledge it. Admitting a mistake will help restore the relationship with the irate consumer, especially if an appropriate response is given alongside the apology.
  • Provide Relevant Information on Your Website: Clear statements of all your policies and FAQs on your website enable customers to access information. Self-service help centers, manuals, and tutorials reduce the number of irate consumers who need to speak with support workers.
  • Have Easy Access to Related Support: Use tools like live chat to provide immediate help to irate customers. Eliminating the wait allows you to reach the consumer before their problem worsens, providing you the time to provide outstanding service. You should also conduct a client satisfaction survey to see what you can improve.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t Take It Personally: Keep in mind that the customer is not upset with you. They are more dissatisfied with your service, or they may have had expectations that differed from what they were given. Keep calm and concentrate on fixing the issue with rude customers rather than on your hurt pride and sentiments.
  • Don’t Blame the Customer: Even if the consumer is wrong, do not deflect the blame by placing it squarely on them. Angry people become defensive, and presenting them with a situation in which they are at fault will activate those protective impulses.
  • Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep: When a consumer gets cranky or angry, it’s natural to pacify them by promising them anything to get them off the phone. Making promises you can’t keep will only aggravate the situation. False promises aren’t worth it, so only make ones you know you can keep.
a call center agent providing friendly and helpful customer service

Raise the Bar of Customer Service

Businesses must know how virtual assistants and customer service reps do their work. Dealing with the public is unpredictable and can be difficult! Customer-facing team members must be prepared for any situation, inquiry, or unusual demands. And even if you know you’ll never be able to please everyone all the time, you should try. Hire dedicated teams of customer service representatives to manage your customer engagements.

FilWeb Asia, Inc. is home to seasoned and well-trained customer service representatives equipped to handle customer concerns and provide exceptional services along the way. Let’s get started today!