If you’re managing a public business like a restaurant, sooner or later you’ll receive some complaints. When people dine out, they are very particular about service and certain elements of their dining experience.
Some people go almost crazy when they have any kind of issue with these services. This is the moment where you as the business owner have to maintain patience and handle the situation wisely.
Complaints normally arise during peak business hours. However, handling complaints efficiently provides a chance to build up a strong customer relationship.
When dealing with bad customers, you should remember that even if it’s a difficult customer, that person will still remain your customer regardless of their actions.
Many times, handling complaints professionally and promptly turns unhappy diners into long-term repeat customers and effective cheerleaders.
Here are seven tips for dealing with bad customers:
Listen to your customers
Your customer is everything! Listen to them very carefully. You have to pay full attention while listening to your customer. Maybe a customer is displeased because there was a waiting line, unsatisfactory food, or any other reason. A lot of customer complaints resolve simply when people feel like they’ve been heard and understood.
Don’t get defensive
Stay polite and neutral in tone when a customer is aggressively complaining. Even if the customer is wrong, never fight back. As the aim is to de-escalate and resolve the problem, not to worsen it.
The customer is always right
“The customer is always right” is the motto of every organization whether it’s a restaurant or an IT firm who gives high priority to their customer satisfaction. Even when the customer gets angry it’s your responsibility to fulfill his demands and requirements.
Let your customer know that you’re taking them seriously as you are conveying your sympathy for their problem. Remember to show your sympathy up to a sensible amount so that it doesn’t seem like you are faking it.
Body language a key
The way you stand and talk to a customer speaks more than words. If you’re feeling defensive, don’t cross your arms over your chest. No matter how irritated you feel, just nod and smile.
Lower your voice
In order to calm down the situation, lower your voice. If you speak slowly and calmly, a furious customer can also calm his anger and politely discuss his problem.
Fix the problem as soon as possible
You should take steps to resolve the problem as soon as possible. The service providers should take action to remedy a bad situation. Sometimes, a simple problem that could have been solved easily does not get resolved due to lack of knowledge. To avoid this, put a plan in place so that when problems arise there is a clear set of steps to resolve it.
Thanks to Michele Belotti for this amazing blog post! Michele is an Italian food blogger and runs one of the best restaurants in Oakland called Belotti. He loves to read, travel, and write informative blogs that benefit Italian food industry a lot.