CEO of HBC
Client drives me crazy
I've been taking care of this crazy client, she's rude and verbally abusive when she doesn't get her way and just shouts and screams for hours on end at times. As the CS representative assigned to her account, I can't do anything but continue to serve her as our company can't afford to lose this multi-million account.
I've spoken to management to try and switch but all the other accounts are taken and I can't swap with anyone else. I'm stuck with her but I don't think I can take it anymore. Any tips on dealing with such an unreasonable person or should I just look elsewhere?
I can feel your frustration on dealing with such an unreasonable person. But before you throw in the towel, let us examine this situation and see if we can come up with some alternative actions that may create a win-win situation. You did the right thing by discussing the issue with your manager. It is not clear to me if you had explained to your boss that her behaviour was not acceptable to you or to anyone else, so passing the account to others in the company will not solve the problem. As a customer service professional, there are some key competencies one must master. The most important one is to maintain your professionalism by not taking things personally. I am sure she is rude to everybody else. The other key skill is listening. When someone is rude and abusive, she is losing her self-control and she thought that by being aggressive, she would get what she wants. You must first listen and respond to her in a professional manner such as asking clarifying questions. It may work if you are giving her an alternative solution as a result of your empathy. It is always a good idea to set expectations right from the start. There must be a document somewhere stating tasks provided and results expected. If she is demanding tasks that are not part of the statement of work, then you can always refer to what were agreed. However, this must be handled with care and sensitivity. When I was working as the head of customer service, our colleagues deal with thousands of customers every day. There are always unreasonable customers; not all customers are right. We trained our staff with real examples as we recorded all dialogues with the customers. If you do have such practice, I suggest that next time, you listen to the recordings and share them with your boss. He would be able to give you some coaching and advice. After all, an organisation exists because of its customers. They bring you revenue and profits. We should try everything we can to provide quality service. It is not unusual that companies fire some of their clients if they are consistently abusing their suppliers, particular those who are not congruence with the organisation’s core values. Have another go and best of luck.