I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Dealing with customers can be very challenging and will lead to a lot of frustration. I’d have to say that some of my most important lessons in business have been around the idea of learning how to professionally and properly deal with customers. Specifically, those who aren’t all that happy with me. Over my time and through my efforts, here’s what I’ve learned.
Tips for successfully mastering inflammatory comments
There’s no one way to do things correctly because every situation will be a little different. Every custom, every comment, and every professional (aka you). But, these are some helpful ways to keep things from escalating and hopefully de-escalate them.
- Stay calm and professional: Obviously, this is really hard. But remember that your behaviour reflects on you, whereas their behaviour reflects on them. Since everything can be screen-capped and hypothetically used against you, you’re going to have to be careful and professional even when you’re feeling frustrated internally.
- If applicable, ignore the hate and focus on what they’re saying: Sometimes, they’re just going to be trolls. But other times, some helpful advice and feedback are waiting for you in the inflammatory comments. Pick through the hate and rude behaviour and extract the questions or comments that are needed. Reply only to that instead of the hatred.
- Don’t try to win: You can’t win when someone has decided to be inflammatory. So, don’t try. Remember that you are an honest, professional creative worker. What they’re saying is just to get you to lash back and potentially compromise your professional integrity. Don’t give them that satisfaction.
- Walk away if you can: In this case, walk away literally from the computer, phone call (or whatever medium it takes place on). Come back in a few minutes when you can focus on the actual comments hidden within the emotion. Also, don’t take what they say with you. You are better than their hatred, and you deserve better. Always remember that!
Deescalating is not about making the customer happy. It’s about holding your boundaries as a professional creator and ensuring that your customer knows that you are enforcing them. That is the proper way to de-escalate comments and end the conversation without feeling that you crossed the line yourself.
The little things make all of the difference
Not only do these tips actually offer you some real advice on dealing with angry customers, whether rightly or wrongly, but they also help you stay calm. One of the most important lessons that I learned was that getting all worked up over rude customers was just never worthwhile. It never worked out in my favour, and it just tired me out. You deserve much better than that.
So, stay disengaged, stay firmly in your lane, and remember that you will never win in a situation like this. The goal is to de-escalate as much as possible but keep yourself from taking ownership of their attitude.
Kelterss is an experienced freelance business writer and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creating Writing. Having served over 1100 customers while maintaining a 4.9/5 star rating, Kelterss is looking to focus her professional services in writing product descriptions and blog posts.