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Dealing With a Difficult Customer

by KELLY ELLIS, Risk Strategies/UNIRISC

 

As we gear up for the busy 2024 summer moving season, we'll inevitably face various challenges throughout the relocation journey.   While certain factors may be beyond our control, as claims handlers at times, we shoulder the responsibility not only of addressing the filed claims but also at times managing any lingering dissatisfaction stemming from the move, to the best of our abilities.   Handling a challenging customer demands patience, empathy, and strong communication skills. Here are five useful tips for managing difficult customers:


  • Listen attentively: Allow the customer to express their concerns fully without interruption. Show empathy and understanding by actively listening to their complaints or issues.

  • Remain calm and composed: Keep your emotions in check and avoid responding defensively, even if the customer is being confrontational. Maintaining a calm demeanor can help de-escalate the situation.

  • Empathize and acknowledge: Validate the customer's feelings by acknowledging their frustration or dissatisfaction. Let them know that you understand their perspective and that you're committed to finding a solution.

  • Offer solutions or alternatives: Propose potential resolutions to address the customer's concerns. Be flexible and willing to accommodate their needs within reason. If necessary, seek guidance from a supervisor or colleague for additional support.

  • Communicate Clearly: Ensure that you provide prompt and transparent communication to the customer or client. Once your investigation is concluded, offer a comprehensive explanation of the decision, even if it involves delivering unwelcome news. Express appreciation for their patience and feedback throughout the process. This approach is vital for rebuilding trust and nurturing a positive relationship with the customer.

 

Sometimes, due to specific circumstances or limitations, it may be challenging to fully resolve a claim to the customer's satisfaction. However, as claim handlers, if we thoroughly assess these situations and exhaust all possible avenues, we can ensure that our customers or clients feel satisfied knowing that every effort on our part has been made to address their concerns.

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