BPA Featured Article

How to Interact with 'Grudge Customers'

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC
May 31, 2018

Let’s play a game. I call it the Carnac the Magnificent exercise, named after the bit Johnny Carson used to do on the The Tonight Show. It works like this: First I give you the answer, and then you provide the question.

Here goes…

Your utility. The high-priced bar by your gate in the airport. The hotel gift shop when you need a pain reliever.

What do these all have in common?

The answer is these are all businesses most people patronize primarily because they’re the only game in town. And in some cases, that creates what BPA Quality refers to as grudge customers.

“These are customers who feel that they are captive, have no choice, and are begrudgingly using a company for services,” BPA Quality says in its white paper “Dealing with Grudge Customers”.

The feeling that the consumer doesn’t have any choice in some people causes a sense of resentment. And such individuals can be a little hard on customer service people as a result.

BPA Quality suggests the best way to contend with this kind of thing is not to take it personally, let the customer air his or her grievances, be empathetic, gently take control of the interaction by asking questions and offering solutions, and kill them with kindness.

“Our many years of specialized Contact Center Quality Assurance places us in a highly informed position; we have listened to millions of human customer contact situations, covering almost every customer type, having every conceivable difficulty or requirement,” says BPA Quality. “We have also undertaken this activity internationally, covering 45 languages, so we understand the differences between customer service expectations across multiple cultures. This activity has enabled us to gain a detailed knowledge of the behaviors and processes that drive positive customer experience and engagement and the development of effective quality and coaching programs.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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