No one likes a customer who is rude, unruly, and demanding. But unfortunately, they can sometimes be unavoidable. If you’re a restaurateur, it’s important to know how to handle these types of customers so that they don’t ruin your business and reputation. Check out these tips for dealing with difficult customers.
1. Try to stay calm and professional
It can be difficult to keep your cool when a customer is being rude or uncooperative, but it’s important to try. Losing your temper will only make the situation worse and damage your relationship with the customer. Instead, remain calm and polite, even if the customer is not.
2. Don’t take it personally.
It’s important to remember that the customer is not attacking you personally, they’re just unhappy with the situation. This can be difficult to remember when someone is being rude or aggressive, but try to keep your cool and remain professional.
3. Set boundaries
It’s important to set boundaries with customers so that they know what is and isn’t acceptable. For example, you could tell them that you’re happy to answer any questions they have, but you won’t tolerate being shouted at. If a customer crosses the line, be firm and remind them of your boundaries.
4. Try to understand their concerns. Many times, an unruly customer is just trying to be heard and their behavior is a result of feeling ignored or unheard. If you can take the time to listen to their concerns, you may be able to diffuse the situation.
5. Avoid getting defensive.
It can be tempting to defend yourself or your restaurant when a customer is being critical, but this will only make the situation worse. Instead, try to listen to the customer’s concerns and see if there’s anything you can do to address them.
6. Avoid arguing
Arguing with a customer will only make the situation worse and is likely to result in a negative review or bad word-of-mouth. It’s important to avoid getting into an argument, no matter how tempting it may be.
7. Offer a solution. Once you’ve listened to the customer’s concerns, try to offer a solution that will satisfy them. This may involve a discount on their next purchase, a freebie, or something else that will make them happy. If you can’t offer a solution that they’re happy with, explain why and see if there’s anything else you can do.
8. Escalate if necessary. If the customer is being abusive or is not responding to your attempts to resolve the situation, you may need to escalate to a manager or supervisor. In extreme cases, you may need to call security or the police.
9. Follow up after the situation has been resolved. Once the situation has been resolved, make sure to follow up with the customer. This could involve sending them a follow-up email or giving them a call to apologize and make sure they’re satisfied.
10. Thank them for their feedback. Even if the situation didn’t end well, it’s important to thank the customer for their feedback. This shows that you’re willing to listen to criticism and that you value their input.
11. Learn from the experience. After dealing with an unruly customer, take some time to reflect on the situation and see what you could have done differently. You should also keep up with reviews customers leave on your platform, you can monitor this once you are signed up on the Dinesurf platform here: https://dinesurf.com/for-restaurants/. This will help you to be better prepared the next time you have to deal with a difficult customer.
Although it can be difficult, it’s important to stay calm and professional when dealing with unruly customers. By following these tips (you can also read more about this here), you can hopefully diffuse the situation and maintain a positive relationship with your guests. Have you ever had to deal with an unruly customer? How did you handle the situation? Let us know in the comments below.
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