Especially when it comes to weddings!
But surely when you are working with customers they are always right? No? So doesn’t that make it easy to just go along with what the customer wants and not fret over the small stuff? Gosh, if only it were that simple.
Would be safe to say we are all difficult customers sometimes? You would be telling porkie pies if you said to me that you hadn’t at least once lost your temper with a shop owner or gotten a little ratty over poor customer service. It happens and as a customer service expert (I have worked with over 600 brides, trust me I know how to work with people) I am a stickler when it comes to good service, a smile and a polite communicative manner is all that is needed usually. It isn’t easy though is it, pleasing everyone, keeping everyone happy and trying to do your best 100% of the time without upsetting anyone. We all know how hard this can be in normal day to day life let alone with relative strangers in our workplace.
However what do you do if the customer is wrong? GASP – surely not.
In my Wedding Professionals Handbook (available here for download) we discuss the fact that not everyone suits every customer, you have to find ‘your’ customer and then tackle how best to promote to them. However if you sell a product then you won’t have this luxury all the time, yes you can target the right type of customer but if you want your product to be a success then you will have to deal with many different types of customers at times. Some of these will not like your work, they won’t like the style or finished product and what’s more, they might want a refund and they might be more than a little upset with you about the process. How do you tackle these customers?
My top tips for dealing with an argumentative or aggressive customer:
- Be sure to know what exactly happened, why they are upset and what you have done wrong – if anything
- Rectify anything you have done wrong and correct it as quickly and apologietically as you can
- Be honest and upfront – communication is the key with customers, if they feel listened to they will be less likely to get even more angry with you
- Don’t accept threats or bad language, know your rights and be professional
- If you cannot correct the problem and you need to refund the customer then do this, promptly and without any bad feeling
- Be clear and keep information simple, explain your terms to your customer and keep everything professional
- Don’t take any aggression personally, usually the customer is upset with something that has gone wrong or they didn’t expect, it isn’t usually a personal attack
- The most important rule is – be sure to learn from this, whether that is to follow your instincts in the future or to change your terms. Whatever went wrong this time could possible be prevented so aim for that.
Remember to be kind to each other in the wedding industry and beyond, we are all basically trying to do the same thing – make a success of something, please our customers and earn a wage, many of us also want to see the wedding industry improve and expand to welcome all customers and all suppliers – more on that later.
Have a lovely week, in the meantime if you’d like to have a chat with me and discuss some more customer service strategies I’d be keen to help, drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or pop over to our website www.isabellaweddings.co.uk
Love Marie x