How business owners can handle stressful customers

As a business owner, you must know that somewhere in your mind that there are certain types of customers whose auras scream problem, and if you don’t treat them with caution, that’s even more problematic.

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Even though we always shout that customers are always right, there are certain situations when learning how to deal with them properly should be a priority in your business life. Although you have to build a positive relationship and reputation with your customers when issues arise—you should still endeavour to put yourself first—Na your business, after all.

Step one: Be clear and positive about your responses

Let me paint a scenario where a customer buys a product from your business and your delivery time frame is two working days to 3 maximum. Issues beyond your control arise, and the delivery company cannot follow through with this timeline.

This is how to respond to customers to make sure nobody stresses your life

  • Be clear with them on the situation, reach out to them first even so that you have the upper hand in the situation—that way, you can leverage the fact that you took responsibility.
  • Explain why there’s a wait or delay without oversharing as transparently as you can. Instead, make them know the amount of effort you put into just serving them.
  • Lastly, beg. Problem no Dey finish and sometimes you have to take your pride and shove it under your knees as you beg.
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Step two: Ask questions and keep the receipts of their responses

These sets of customers are always after your blood, they have no idea of what they want, and they can’t communicate properly.  With these types of customers,  you have to become both a teacher and librarian on top of their matter.

This is what to do so that they don’t stress your life,

  • Ask them specific and particular questions related to their wants, e.g., what is their budget range, what colour would they prefer; essentially provide them with all the information they need to make an informed decision.
  • Then this next part is where you become a librarian, keeping detailed notes of whatever conversations you had with them. Why? So that if they change their minds in future and try to make it your fault, you would have proof stating otherwise

In this life, always save yourself.

Step three: Have a strict refund policy.

In any case, a customer is unhappy and very dissatisfied with your service or product, and they demand a refund—they want their money back.

The best way to help yourself and your customers in this type of situation would be to provide a full or partial refund; depending on the nature of the situation and avoid any online name dragging. You could also go in the route of giving them discounts to make up for the issue.

Don’t be lenient with your refund policy; if not, customers will step on you.

Step four: Lower your voice.

My dear, no be every time you go dey shout. Reduce your volume sometimes. If the customer gets louder, speak slowly, in a low tone. Your calm demeanour can carry over to them and help them settle down. As you approach the situation with a calm, clear mind, unaffected by the customer’s tone or volume, their anger will still reduce

Step five: They have a confession, don’t take it personal

The most important thing to avoid any unnecessary headache is to put whatever a customer says badly to you on your shoulder and not on your head. If you drop your shoulder, anything they say won’t stress you.

But also understand that those reviews are an avenue for you to improve yourself and your business; constructive criticism is how the best people grew and became even better.


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Hafeedoh Balogun

Hafeedoh Balogun