Handling difficult customers can be a challenge for even the most experienced employees which makes it an even harder task for in-experienced employees to have to solve the problem at hand. Several studies show that 95% of your customers who experience bad customer service share their experiences with others. Not only do you lose that particular customer but then it can damage your reputation because they will tell their friends and family to not go to your hotel, post negative reviews and create content that could go viral on social media and become a true disaster. New employees who are unprepared to deal with difficult customers may be caught off guard and inadvertently make a bad situation even worse. These five ideas can make handling difficult customers easier for inexperienced employees and help save customer relationships before you lose that person forever.
The Customer is Always Right
When inexperienced employees internalize the mindset of the customer is always right, they will respond to customer complaints from the perspective that there’s a solution to the problem, and it’s their job to find it. This is easier said than done because you have to be honest and willing to listen to the guest, even if they are irate. You need to be sincere and the words coming out of you should be heart-felt.
The Fastest Solution is Always Best
The last thing a difficult customer wants to hear is that they’re going to have to wait. When customers are forced to wait to speak with management or wait for a refund, the delay leads to frustration and doubt. The longer a customer has to wait for answers, the more they perceive a business to be indifferent to their complaints. The faster the resolution, the better. You then force uneasiness and tension because they feel that you should have been the person that took control of the situation and found an answer immediately.
The Most Relevant Resolution is Always Ideal
Customer dissatisfaction isn’t always solved with a refund or even a replacement for a service or product that failed to meet their expectations. Training new employees to listen for specific keywords or the factors that caused customer dissatisfaction may indicate that something else might actually be the most relevant resolution for handling a complaint. The more relevant the customer finds the employee’s response, the more likely they are to feel truly heard and understood.
The Option That Leaves the Door Open is Always the Goal
It can be tempting to choose an answer or resolution that sends a difficult customer on their way as quickly as possible. However, solutions that leave the door open with a dissatisfied customer, giving a hotel another chance to deliver on customer experience and expectations, is preferable to one that represents a customer will ever come back. The more times a negative customer experience can be transformed into a good one, your job is pretty much complete.
The Ability to Follow Up is Critical
A new staff member may feel that a difficult customer was taken care of only to find out that the customer left even more unhappy than before. Obtaining a guest’s phone number or email address for the purpose of following up and offering to redress any remaining issues can be key to preventing negative word of mouth and online reviews.
Sooner or later, nearly every employee will deal with difficult or unhappy customers. Use these five ideas to your advantage by making a part of your new employee training program to help your staff feel at ease when dealing with confrontation. It is always something that no one wants to deal with but it will eventually happen.