Before you get offended by the title…just hear us out. As we take this moment to acknowledge the existence of stupidity, we promise to do it as respectfully as humanly possible. We aren’t the first company to admit that some people need extra help in the common sense department. Case in point, one of America’s most wholesome and beloved restaurants has a puzzle game on every table that claims that some people are “just plain dumb.” And if they can say it, so can we!
Restaurant Peg Game Rules:
“If you are successful and leave only one tee you are a genius,
Leave two and you’re pretty smart,
Leave three and you are just plain dumb,
But leave four and you are an “EQ-NO-RA-MOOOSE.”
How much is free shipping?
If you have worked in the customer service industry for any considerable amount of time, you’ve heard it all. There are times when people present impossible demands or become irrationally angry. But, there’s a type of customer that’s even more frustrating than either of the previously mentioned characters. It’s the client that doesn’t “get it.” What do we mean by “doesn’t get it?” What we mean is that they ask questions like, “What’s the cost of free shipping?”
We know firsthand that providing support in the technology sector can be particularly painful. Take this anecdote as glaring proof. A few years ago, one of LiveHelpNow’s client’s tech support specialists went above and beyond the call of duty to reset a customer’s password. No matter how many times their staff walked the client through each step and provided new login information, nothing seemed to remedy the issue. Finally, one of their support representatives chose to drive 45 minutes to assist the customer in person…only to find out that the customer’s caps lock key had been on the entire time. (Womp Womp Womppp)
Occurrences like these happen every day. That’s why we’re going to help you stay sane with a little free advice…
Keep A Stress Reliever Nearby
Meet our office punching bag. It may not look like much, but it does the trick. According to LiveStrong.com contributor, Rachel Nall, hitting a punching bag can go a long way towards relieving unavoidable stress. “When hitting the punching bag, your brain increases production of endorphins, neurotransmitters that create feel-good thoughts in your brain. Punching helps to relieve muscle tension that can collect when you experience stress,” writes Nall.
A punching bag might not be right for every office setting. But, don’t worry. You can always rely on good, old-fashioned stress balls (Yes, they actually work, too.). And, we aren’t against bringing a small pillow to scream into either. The important thing to remember is to never express your frustration to the customer. Redirect that irritation right into your “stress reliever,” and keep smiling.
Kill ‘Em With Kindness
When you’re dealing with someone that has a low IQ, the worst thing you can do is become visibly agitated. There’s a good chance that the customer will just become angry in return. In that case, the conversation will end up going in circles, and you’ll both lose sight of the actual issue. And, who wants to waste time and energy fighting a losing battle?
Instead, take a play out of Mom’s handbook, and kill ‘em with kindness. And, maybe throw in a little patience for good measure. You may be an expert in your field, but keep in mind that the clueless customer is new to your world. Stay calm, and try discussing your suggested solution from different angles. Speak slowly and deliberately. Make sure you aren’t racing through your explanations. Most importantly, the more grief they cause you, the harder you should hit them with your “nice” stick.
Agree with Them
We know the customer isn’t always right. But, to a certain extent, the customer can still be agreed with. We’re not suggesting that you agree to give away free merchandise or that you make false promises you can’t follow through on. We’re talking about acknowledging customers’ concerns and suggestions in a way that makes them feel recognized and important. Stop focusing on getting them to “shut up.” Instead, become an active listener.
Take this real-life dialogue as an example of the right way to agree with a client:
Customer: “When I sit down at my computer, the program should automatically know I am there. I don’t understand why it can’t do that.”
Agent: “I am sorry, sir. That’s a feature that does not exist yet.”
Customer: “Why not? You invented this program out of thin air, and you can’t make it do that?!”
Agent: “You know what…you’re right, sir. That would be a really convenient feature for the software to have. I will definitely let our development team know about your suggestion.”
After that exchange, the customer became more relaxed and was more receptive to receiving assistance. Sometimes, no matter how dumb an inquiry may seem, people just want to feel heard. And, SOMETIMES (but, not always), if you can offer a determined complainer an olive branch of validation, that’s enough for them walk away from the conversation feeling good about the experience.
It sounds cliche, but regardless of how annoyed you get, try to be grateful. Without your customers, you wouldn’t have a job. 7 out of 10 businesses fail within the first 10 years. One of the main reasons companies go under is that they are unable to connect with their clients and properly address customers’ pain points. So, while you’re counting the profits from the sales that buyers are bringing into your company, don’t forget to count your blessings. Remember, your customers are coming to you because they need your help (especially the just plain dumb ones).