Handling customer complaints is tough when you are doing your very best to help them!
So many hard-working conveyancers are talking about the challenge of handling demanding clients right now and everyone is experiencing delays due to sheer volume of work.
I don’t know anyone that doesn’t want to help their customers. The best reward is to receive a heart-felt “thank you” so a complaint feels like a kick in the teeth!
It’s not your fault. It’s just how it is across the breadth of the chain, but it doesn’t mean you need to take complaints on the chin and pretend they didn’t upset you.
So how do you keep going, remain motivated and stay positive in the face of so much negativity?
- Remind yourself that it’s not personal – they are stressed and you are an easy target for venting their frustration.
- Recognise when it’s just abuse and put the phone down… then pick up the phone to a friend or colleague to talk it through
- Try to listen out for the genuine feedback as it may help you to learn how to handle things better in future
Here are 6 suggestions of ways to try to diffuse difficult situations and avoid conflict.
- It can be powerful to encourage desired behaviour by sincerely acknowledging, appreciating and reinforcing the other person’s behaviour so they repeat it. E.g. “Thank you for waiting” or “Thank you for giving us your feedback and allowing us to respond to your concerns.”
- “No news” is bad news for customers so proactively provide regular progress reports, updating and advising customers as to what is happening and why
- Highlight any progress made and give realistic time projections
- Avoid using words like “Unfortunately & Can’t” as they indicate a negative stance
- Focus on “What I CAN DO”
- To help the person understand & set their expectations, explain the process and/or what will happen in the future.
Most importantly, remember we WILL get through this and there will be better days. Look after yourself, ask for help from friends and colleagues on tough days and remind yourself of all the customers you have already helped move into their new homes.
What tips would you share on how to deal with difficult or demanding clients?
Clare Yates runs CY Training Works