Monday, 1st June 2020

This Month's Magazine
How to deal with difficult Clients and negative attitudes in business

How to deal with difficult Clients and negative attitudes in business

I have received much feedback about my short articles on this page during the past few months and a great deal of the concern is how to deal with difficult Clients. By Count De-La Perrelle

In all types of businesses difficult people can drive you crazy…they are negative, they can be so single minded that they just do not listen to your side of any discussion and they will not even try to see your side of any situation. They can be so focused on their own ego that they may even try to have you feeling you are in the wrong when you are not. One can encounter these people all over the place but they can be so much more irritating when in a business situation.

There will always be negative people, the people who are unhappy with everyone and everything. Sometimes people are quite content being unhappy and miserable and feel the solution to their problem is in your hands. Whether it is face-to-face, via written communication or verbal over the phone, more than likely every person in any type of business has come across these situations at some time.

In catering customers who blame you for things that are not your fault are unfortunately the bain of the hospitality business. It was your fault that the food was on time but their friends were late or that the meal they ordered took longer than they thought even though they asked for something very special and intricate to be specially cooked for them. The problem is that you have to remember that as they are your paying customers it becomes your job to find a solution.

Working in the hospitality industry is about providing friendly, competent service with expertise. The ability to offer solutions and to positively provide a memorable experience for paying Customers. If their food or coffee is cold and you are the table server it can be as simple as replacing their order. Even though it is not your fault you bear the brunt of their anger or nasty comments. We already know that just one bad experience by a customer gets repeated many many times or more to their friends and acquaintances and could damage the reputation of any business.


Always remember though that providing a quick solution can have the ‘unhappy customer’ becoming one of the best ‘word of mouth’ advertisers your business can have. A skilled employee or manager can easily create a positive outcome to any negative situation at work. Remember that positivity and appreciation of the customer’s opinion or complaint can sometimes be the beginning to a passive outcome. Appreciation of their problem will create good feelings whereas constant criticism and negativity will have the opposite effect.

Also treating people as equals and with respect can create good customer relations and more often than not the customer will be prepared to go the extra mile to accommodate your opinion as well as putting their opinion forward. Bully boy tactics only serve to undermine people and breed negativity. In the workplace it is in the best interest of Owners, Managers and Staff to learn how to create good relationships with everyone because having these professional associations and connections reap benefits.

Giving appropriate feedback to Staff helps improve performance and is another skill to be mastered. Talking to or informing someone in an angry voice will most likely get their hackles up. Learning instead to offer feedback in a positive way will show that you value and respect your employees. By doing this you can expect increased motivation and work commitment. Consequently dealing with difficult customers will be made even easier if you offer understanding and confidence.

Solutions are usually possible, it is about working with your group or team to create positive workplace environments where people have the skills to overcome the difficult and negative encounters that are experienced with customers in the service industry.

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