How to deal with difficult customers

Just hearing the words “customer service” can make retailers and consumers cringe. Yet providing quality customer care is often what differentiates a company from its rivals. And when you have an angry customer, your skills (and patience) are put to the test. Time to pass that test with flying colors.

“With the digital disruption we’re having today, customer loyalty is really dropping for a lot of businesses,” says John DiJulius, a customer service consultant and author of The Relationship Economy: Building Stronger Customer Connections in the Digital Age. “The best differentiator you can make is to form an emotional connection with your customer. And when you think about the great customer service giants that are out there—[companies like] Disney, Southwest, Nordstrom, Apple—those companies do drop the ball on occasion, but when they make a mistake they make it right for their customers.”

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5 Social Media Hacks for Better Customer Service

Anyone who has ever tried to navigatesocial-media-customer-service-rep a voicemail menu or been stranded on hold by a customer service rep knows how maddening it can be to get help over the phone. According to an American Express survey, more than half of callers say they’ve lost their temper while on the line with a representative. That may explain why more and more people are turning to social media to vent their frustrations. In a J.D. Power survey of more than 23,000 online shoppers, 67% reported having used social media to lodge a complaint.

“When you post on Facebook or Twitter, it’s essentially public shaming, which forces the company to reply,” says online consumer advocate Kim Komando. Even so, fewer than 15% of messages actually get a response. Here’s how to make sure yours is one of them.

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