Difficult customer conversation- How to handle them? - Deepstash
Difficult customer conversation- How to handle them?

Difficult customer conversation- How to handle them?

customersuccessbox.com

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Difficult customer conversations

Difficult customer conversations

Some conversations become difficult due to several factors.

  • It could be due to differences in people's expectations.
  • Miscommunication can contribute to misaligned expectations.
  • Emotions often steer people's conversations. Your customer may have a bad day or get confused.

Most tough situations can be avoided by understanding your customer's expectations and aligning them with the business's goals.

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Elements which worsen difficult conversations

Non-verbal cues can affect conversations with your stakeholders. For example:

  • You make faces when you don't agree with something.
  • You avoid eye contact.
  • You show less interest in the conversation.
  • You cross your arms and are not ready to agree with anything.
  • You raise your voice in an attempt to prove your point.
  • You only focus on the negative points instead of balancing them with positive ones.

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Courageous but difficult customer conversations

Examples of difficult conversations:

  • The customer has decided not to renew yet to pitch as a last chance.
  • You and your team unexpectedly failed a customer, but you have a conversation and act in a way that will win their trust back.
  • If you're a leader, letting someone go.
  • Changing the topic to move from a tactical to a strategic discussion.
  • Taking responsibility for the team for any failures.

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How to handle tough conversations

  • Don't be judgemental. Suppress the desire to be judgemental. Often, the customer's anger and frustration are because of genuine concerns.
  • Start with why to get to the root cause. Why is the conversation important? What am I missing? What am I assuming?
  • Listen actively. Pay attention to what the customer says and acknowledge the problem so that they feel heard.
  • Let the customers say what they have to say. Mirror back what your customers said to create trust and confidence.
  • Wear the problem-solving hat. Try to give acceptable customer solutions that are within the firm's guidelines.

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Lessen difficult customer conversation

  • Mindset shift or perspective shift is essential before you speak to the customer.
  • Do your homework. Ensure you understand the customer and the problem.
  • Apologise and be empathetic. Be quick to apologise for the inconvenience caused. This will calm the customer down before the actual conversation.
  • Listen actively to the concerns.
  • Address customer concerns honestly.
  • Try to find a solution together if you're unable to resolve the issue.
  • Hold your ground. Tell them what is acceptable and what not to ensure you and your customer are on the same page.
  • Focus on building relationships.

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CURATED BY

jiltur

Higher education lecturer

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