Once in Phuket, a client staying in the presidential suite complained … that the sea is too noisy. How should people deal with such clients?
We bet that in your work, you also face complaints and accusations when nothing comes to mind except, “what should I do with it?”. Such clients or users are often called rowdies, but that is only one type of dissatisfied users or buyers. Dealing with them requires both effort and time. Yet, if you do match a key to them, you will save the company or product from the tons of negativity. In this article, we introduce the ten most common types of “toxic” users or clients and tips on dealing with them. Whether you work in management or support line, make sales in outsourcing companies or freelance for different clients, build interaction flows in user interfaces or answer the calls in the call center – this simple classification may help you to improve communication.
Once we have started talking about this type, let’s continue. Moreover, this type is one of the most difficult. Such clients are looking for not a product or service, but a reason to quarrel and shout (no matter if it’s in a store or in the review section of the ecommerce website). Even if you are perfect, and your competitors are daddling far behind, the rowdy will find something to complain about. The sea is too loud, the pizza is too hot, and a comma is missing in the medication instructions – aren’t these good reasons? The most annoying thing is that the negative feedback, especially emotional, always looks very convincing. Therefore, quite often rowdies’ reviews which fall into the public space spoil the company’s reputation.
As a rule, that’s a middle-aged person who misses the good old days when “everything was better.” For example, the changes in the tariff plan. It’s difficult for a hard-liner to understand the benefits of your new offer if he or she has already got used to the old one, even if it’s not perfect. This type is very slow to move to any changes: it always seems to them that the old conditions were more profitable, and the old model was more reliable.
This type is also called “insecure.” The user of this type constantly doubts and is always in search of something else. Then they find – and start doubting again. The problem is that usually, this user doesn’t really imagine what he or she would like. Such a situation may arise from their general incompetence in your field: for example, he or she knows nothing about how the bicycles are designed while you are trying to explain something about the transmission. Another reason lies in the psychology of a person: the temperament, self-esteem, world outlook. Your trump card, in this case, is peace and confidence.
This guy is sure that he knows everything about you and your business, and therefore, he is skeptical and arrogant in conversation. It is almost impossible to surprise, convince, or somehow emotionally influence this user – he knows everything. By the way, that often happens that the sources of his knowledge are unreliable, but you seem to be unable to do anything with that, he trusts them more than you. On the good side, the know-it-alls almost always have clear goals and requirements, as opposed to, say, Fearful users. Here you immediately understand if you can satisfy this user or not.
That’s the type of buyers/users that demonstrate their passion for bonuses. First, they seek out the most favorable (or rather the cheapest) conditions. Then they try to find options to reduce the price even more: promotional codes, special offers, using connection and pulling strings – depends on your business and communication channel.
If this is a freeloader of even higher level, then after the purchase he starts looking for something to complain about. But that’s not a simple play: he or she does it to get the compensation such as a return on value, an apology gift from the company, and so on.
An excellent example is described in the DoDo-book: a client declared that she broke a tooth with a pizza, and the company sent her a free pizza as an apology. After that, the woman began to call with this complaint every day – and every day she received a gift. Such a principle of communicating with clients is prescribed in the DoDo corporate policy, and in the end, the company still managed to get out of this situation with honor.
But what to do if you such a scenario is impossible in your case?
This type is similar to Fearful users, but with its own nuances. While the Fearful does not know what he or she wants, the Timid Mouse knows but does not tell. All the information must be literally pulled out from this person. Such clients may seem completely satisfied and loyal, and then suddenly you discover that they have moved on to competitors. Why? Because it turns out that you didn’t satisfy them in some aspects, but they didn’t find it necessary to tell you about it – they just found another contractor or supplier.
“I’m not shopping, I just want to talk” that’s about them. Such users are a bad dream for all call operators and support workers. That’s because corporate communication and personal time are spent in huge amounts, the clients who really need support are waiting for their turn, but there’s little use in talking to Chatterboxes. You will learn everything about their interests, their needs, their personal experience, the experience of their mother’s friend’s son — just because, with no use or specific goals.
Strangely enough, but “always hurrying” clients also fall into this category. They are not interested in any product, or benefit, or brand. The only thing they are looking for is the speed and convenience of the transaction. If they can buy from your competitors in one click and you don’t give that option – the audience of Lazybones is already lost for you. If you have entered a mandatory registration or any other additional steps, you can immediately remove this category from loyal customers and expect their discontent in the reviews. Or do not expect, because to write a review, you also need time and effort, which is always lacking as of lazy people.
The user of this kind is biased either after a failed interaction with the company or a competitor company or even after having heard a lot about the failed experience from other users. It is easy to assume that such clients rarely return to the company, but there are situations when there is no choice to go somewhere else. Therefore, biased people return, but firmly prejudiced that nothing has changed and this time their experience will be even worse.
Anxiety is their middle name and the usual state of life. If something gets outside their control, that is a reason for panic.
Such clients are accustomed to working according to their own scenario, and if this is not provided in your company or with your product, they are offended and move to competitors.
Toxic customers are found in any business, so it’s impossible to get insured fully. But clearly defining their type and knowing how to find an approach to each of them is what you can really do. We hope that our classification and the memo will help you a little on this never-easy path.
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