Posted by: dagmarsands | October 1, 2015

How a Small Business Owner Can Handle Difficult Customers

Especially relevant for people-oriented businesses such as Real Estate!

Manta Tip of the Day –

Small businesses are loved because of the personalized service they can provide. But what happens when a customer shows up with a list of demands longer than the mighty Mississippi? Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for an oddball request to push the boundaries of the owner-client relationship.

When demands are made, remember these tips:

  • Don’t blow a fuse. Even if the request seems ridiculous, take a deep breath and maintain your composure. Your calm demeanor can help change the course of the conversation and get to a reasonable resolution.
  • Empathy goes a long way. Even if the request is over the top, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. It shows that you’re listening and willing to work toward a solution.
  • Just say no. There may be a time when you simply can’t honor a request, such as if it conflicts with company policy or legal regulations. Instead, offer a new option the customer might not have considered and work toward a compromise.
  • Rein it in. After handling a request, gently set the expectation that this will be a one-time option due to business constraints, but that you’re happy to make an exception for a loyal customer.

Seemingly unreasonable demands can test anyone’s patience. But if handled appropriately—with tact and understanding—you can still maintain high customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Dagmar Sands
International Real Estate Broker
Real Estate International, Inc.

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