It’s easy to get frustrated when customers do or say silly things. We’ve all experienced it: the customer who ignores the queue and demands to speak with a manager immediately, the shopper who asks the price of an item even though the label is clearly in view, or the person that says “but can’t you make an exception?”
Sometimes customers are rude, sometimes their complaints are completely without merit, and sometimes their demands border on ridiculous. Those situations can be exasperating. However, we need to remember that our businesses need customers.
The customer is not always right, but they are always the customer. There’s never a valid reason to treat customers badly. Even the most obnoxious person should be treated in a kind but firm manner. Why? First, because they’re a customer. Second, other shoppers or clients will likely be watching how you handle the disruption, and they’ll judge your response. Never lose your cool.
Of course, there should be a balance in your business. Overly demanding customers or those who try to take advantage of you should never be allowed to trample over you. Watch out particularly for those who say, “but can’t you make an exception?” Most people who use that manipulative phrase tend to think the world revolves around them. There’s no need to be unkind, rude or sarcastic (though it’s tempting sometimes). Instead, you should simply tell them “No, I’m sorry” and perhaps refer them to a different supplier who may be able to help them. If necessary, politely refer them to your company’s policies or explain the reason you cannot accommodate their request.
Even large companies often fall into the trap of getting irritated by the few customers who cause annoyances, but you can diffuse the situation by having firm policies in place regarding your company’s products and services.