For any business owner, it really pays to step back from the business every so often and take a close look at how you and your staff serve your customers. Sure, there are the difficult customers who can ruin anyone’s day, but in many cases, a negative attitude toward a large number of customers could mean that you really aren’t giving them the best service possible, or the service they need, and that could drive them right into the arms of your competition.

Your Customer Service Policies

Stop and think – do you have many policies that are for your own convenience, not the customers? What happens if a customer arrives at your store just at closing time? Do you let them in, or do you just say, “we’re closed?” Do you greet everyone who enters the store with a friendly “hello,” or “can I help you?” Are your return policies clear and fair, and is the return process quick and painless? If your customers aren’t treated with respect and attention to their needs, they won’t continue to shop at your store, so you need to take a close look at customer service in your business, and assess where it might be lacking.

Put Yourself in Your Customer’s Shoes

Instead of getting exasperated with difficult customers who can’t seem to make a decision or who complain, try to put yourself right in their shoes to see what they’re feeling. For example, when a customer does something you might consider weird, instead of getting exasperated, try to figure out what he or she might be thinking. Ask questions about their purpose and what they’re looking for. Instead of alienating a customer, you’ll understand exactly what they need, and why, and that can help you lead them to the right product choice. They’ll appreciate the fact that you took the time to empathize with their needs, and they’ll remember it the next time they step into your store.

Remember, it’s not all about you. Even the most disgruntled customers aren’t angry at you, they’re angry about the situation. Don’t take their anger personally, so you can get to the bottom of the problem and fix it satisfactorily. Besides, these difficult customers could easily know someone you know, and spread the word on bad behavior. Treat them like you’d treat a close friend to find a solution to the problem. Reassess your customer service from time to time, just to make sure it’s top notch and really represents your business model.

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