Destination Directory

Turn Your Tough Customers Into Vocal Advocates

Do you know someone who is vocal about what he or she doesn’t like? Being mouthy and opinionated is a big turnoff, especially when you’re attempting to communicate with one of these “vocal” customers. If you have a customer who is mouthy when mad, think about how much more mouthy and opinionated he or she could be when happy!

We always hear, “Fire the customer you don’t want.” In today’s economy, you want to keep as many good customers as possibleand these outspoken ones aren’t the ones we want to fire; these are the people that we should focus on converting into major fans.

In our ever-growing world of social media, we see more of these outspoken voices. What are they saying about your company and customer service? What current customers say online could affect how potential customers might see you,especially if they take a look at your social media pages.

What customers want now more than ever is to feel a personal connection to you, not to a company. And for our outspoken customers, helping them to feel that connection and to know that they will be taken care ofno matter whatis the key tochanging a hater into an advocate.

With social media, there is a trend in humanizing your company. Behind the faceless company, customers want to know who they are talking to, who will be helping them, and if they will be answered or cared for. That is what will make them come backor not.

To grow your business in this new reality, you must develop connected, positive relationships with every customer.

Avoid saying: I can’t do that. You’re wrong. Why didn’t you? I’m too busy. No problem, that’s my job. You have to wait. You’re being unreasonable. You already told me that … No.

When you pin blame on others by using “you” statements, the conversation will become strained, resistant, and off-putting. Rather, create that positive relationship by saying: I’m sorry. I’m here to help. I’ll be happy to find out. Here’s what I can do. Absolutely. My pleasure. Let me see if I understand clearly. How can I make this better for you?

Your customer reviews will reflect your customer service. Provide exceptional service, receive exceptional reviews. Easy as that. 

Written by: Chelsea Stoskopf
Source: Marilyn Suttle and Lori Jo Vest are co-authors of  
Who’s Your Gladys? How to Turn Even the Most Difficult Customer into Your Biggest Fan


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