Dealing with Rude Customers in Online Support
⏱ Reading Time: 6 minutes
Imagine that you have launched your new product or service. You have set up your production and sales, even employed a few more people. Profits from your advertising are getting bigger. Everything seems to grow and improve. But then somebody dislikes the service, calls your customer support and starts making trouble.
What to do when you get an angry phone call or a comment that can possibly destroy your brand image? You have to deal with it.
This article will explain how to deal with rude customers and comments in online support.
How to Define a Rude Customer?
When it comes to rude comments or dissatisfactions, you need to detect their reason. The majority of customers doesn’t want to insult you just for fun. Many of them have simply had a bad experience with your product.
But there is a slight difference between an unhappy and a rude customer. An unhappy received a product or service with the lower quality than expected and they’re expressing their opinion. The good thing is that they are willing to have a healthy conversation and let you explain.
On the other hand, a rude customer is someone who expresses their anger in an uncontrolable way despite your welcoming manner. They are people who resort to verbal abuse or offensive language. They can also use threatening words or behavior. And they are much more difficlut to handle.
Picture 1. A classic example of a rude customer
How to Get Ready for a Rude Customer
When planning your brand policy, you need to have ready tactics to void negative comments before they happen. Here are some tips to identify and prevent rudeness.
By answering potential dissatisfaction before customers express them, you can resolve an issue. Brands can assess the behavior of most likely complain offsite and onsite.
With behavior tracking, brands can check:
- Who is hovering on a complaint form or customer service page
- Interaction records to become aware of a site visitor who is more apt to complain
- Consumers who may be having navigation difficulties
- Those who are seeking support
With intelligent engagement, you can target those visitors in crisis. You can resolve their issues before they get upset and vent their frustrations.
Listen to Your Customers
Consumers are talking about products in forums, social networks, blogs and review sites. You can pay more attention to their way of thinking. Implementing a robust social media tool that can track conversations happening in real-time would help. It understands the issues that lead to complaints.
Having in mind consumers needs is key to engaging with them. Listening to their needs will put the necessary steps in place that leads to a change in the conversation. Furthermore, listening is a good indicator of brand health. In other words, not listening can be dangerous. You can miss out opportunities to build better customer relationships and new customers.
Create a Crisis Plan
No matter how much you try to avoid them, rude comments and customers do happen. It is normal to feel angry when you have been mistreated or wronged, but it could become a problem if you don’t control it.
This is why it’s good to create a “crisis plan”, or an overview of possible unpleasant situations and “exit plans”, or tactics how to deal with them. Think of ways you can answer to your customers that could calm their anger or agree upon offers you can make to make things right.
4 Strategies for Dealing with Rude Customers
Receiving no response or seeing their post deleted, will only further incite the customer. As unpleasant as handling an unhappy customer, ignoring the situation lead to even more unpleasant trouble. That is why you should know some strategies to deal with rude customers.
Related: Happy Customer Guidelines
Firstly, don’t internalize the disrespectful comments and criticisms. The majority of the time, rude customers don’t mean to directly attack you. They’re angry, and you’re the person who had the misfortune of speaking to them.
Distance yourself from what they’re saying. Furthermore, recognize their irritation about a product malfunction. They are upset with the overall company. Even if you have done something remember that everybody makes mistakes. Accept their feedback, but separate your personal self from your professional self.
To better understand a problem, try to put yourself in the same situation. Focusing on the perspective of another person helps you to stay clear-headed and lose any added emotion.
Also, you can realize that they are not trying to be rude but that they have a problem. They are frustrated that they trusted your company and were let down. Empathy can help you relate to the customer and actually want to help them.
The main point of apologizing is to show to your customers that you do feel bad that they have had a negative experience. They should never have been put in a place of having to contact you at all. Respond with a creative apology, for example, a little gift.
Also, be careful with your language. Try saying statements like, “I’m sorry that you’ve had a bad experience with this product.” rather than “I’m sorry that we did that.” You can sympathize with your customers without taking the blame right away.
Focus on Solving the Root Problem
It is easy to lose sight of what the problem is when a customer is assaulting you. Instead of starting arguing, focus on what are they saying. Try to read between lines figure out what an actual problem is.
Once you have figured out the actual problem, you can start solving it. If there’s one thing that can help calm down an exasperated customer, it’s you announcing that you’ve figured out a solution to their issue. It will help calm yourself if you focus on the task of problem-solving.
All considered, it is important to give unsatisfied customer immediate access to someone who can resolve the issue. Access to customer service wherever the customer needs it such as in-store, on a website, on social and mobile is important.
The way a brand deals with rude customers shows the community that it’s listening and reacting. It translates to good customer care. Finally, how a brand handles complaints can turn a negative to a positive.
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