Customer Experience News & Trends

3 annoying customers and how to keep them happy

Some customers will test the outer limits of your tolerance. Here’s how to deal with three of the worst customer types:

Ladder-climbing Larry

Man on ladder

This guy will likely say, “I want to talk to a manager” as soon as something doesn’t go his way in the conversation with one of your front-line employees — even though that employee is perfectly capable of handling the situation. Larry just thinks that someone up the ladder will give him a better experience.

Tip: Offer a fast solution, then access to another employee or manager. Say, “I believe we can resolve this by doing … If that doesn’t work, and you’re still not satisfied, I’ll get my supervisor. Is that OK?”

All-knowing Alice

Know it all

This customer usually thinks she can do your job better than you can. She might say something like, “I know how businesses are run. If you can’t figure this out, you’re not doing your job.”

Anticipate some condescending behavior from her.

Tip: You’ll want to move to solutions as soon as possible so she realizes that you know your job well. Ideally, offer her a few alternatives and allow her to pick one that works best for her so she feels she has some control.

Silent Sally

Zipped mouth

She’ll give you half the information you need and assume you can piece the rest together so she can get what she wants. She won’t respond much to small talk.

Tip: Focus on asking her probing, open-ended questions to get her to open up and move toward a resolution.

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