Difficult Receptionist Situations
Handling Difficult Customers
Front line Receptionists will encounter difficult customers, from time to time, on the telephone and face to face. The manner in which the receptionist handles this encounter will affect the turnaround of the issue and the level of satisfaction from the customer.
Receptionists must take control of difficult situations
Every receptionist should take control of a situation to achieve a timely outcome that benefits the organisation and the customer. Attitude is a very important factor when dealing with difficult customers because the reactions of the receptionist will affect the counter reactions of the customer.
People find it very hard to control their reactions in difficult situations because they tend to take criticism personal, even if the criticism is not aimed directly at them. This common mistake and lack of professionalism leads to millions of customers each year feeling dissatisfied with the level of service they have received when attempting to resolve their issue.
Receptionists must learn to control their emotions and understand the customer’s point of view before they jump to conclusions and ruin any chances of a positive outcome. While personalities of receptionists cannot be changed, their attitudes and skills can be improved.
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The Receptionist must find a resolution for the customer
Customers very often think their issue will not be resolved unless they shout, scream and threaten the representative of the organisation. These unfortunate actions are now commonly used due to decades upon decades of poor commitment and a lack of interest from organisations and representatives when dealing with customer’s issues. Customers just want solutions to their issue. They want to receive understanding from the representative and feel valued by the organisation. There is so much opportunity for organisations and receptionists to overcome customer’s issues and turn them in to loyal customers for the future.
Creating Challenging Customers
In our personal life we are pretty good at establishing if someone is easy to get along with and fun to be around, which is all very well because we have the freedom to pick and choose who we want to speak to. If we don’t like someone due to their attitude or personality, we can simply choose not to speak with them - END OF STORY. (If only we could do that with difficult customers).
Difficult Customer Traits Include
Angry, frustrated, rude, complaining, impatient, stressed, frightened and upset
Strong personalities and customers with attitudes, Lack of interpersonal skills, Refusing to accept information provided, Struggle to make decisions, Openly hostile, Language Barriers, Talkative people. Whilst striving to provide the best possible service, we must be aware of our own communication style and attitude towards the customer - for the following reason:
“EVERY REACTION CAUSES A COUNTER REACTION!”
The manner in which we approach and communicate will influence the way in which our customers communicate with us. Does this mean that WE can be directly responsible for a customer who is difficult, challenging or uncooperative? - ABSOLUTLEY!
“IT’S NOT WHAT WE SAY, IT’S HOW WE SAY IT!”
Customer’s emotions and expectations can vary dramatically, so using the wrong phrase or tone could turn a cooperative customer in to a difficult customer. Handle challenging customers and avoid escalating situations with our customer service training course.
It is important for receptionists attend professional receptionist training courses to improve their interpersonal skills confidence and learn professional structures to handling situations when they arise.
If you would like to learn professional structures and techniques to increase your confidence and overcome difficult customers, then give Hamilton Mercer Training a call on 0800 121 4660 or visit our dedicated Receptionist Training page which contains the course outline, venues and dates available.
We have some more articles related to receptionist training, advice and tips that you will find useful. Please do contact us if you would like to discuss any of our training programs or how our training will help you to improve your career as a receptionist