Many people working in the service industry have the same question “Why are customers so rude?” We all want our products and services to satisfy customers. But sometimes things don’t go as we’ve expected.
There are a bunch of reasons why your customers can become so rude. Whether it comes from your faults or your customers’ faults, it can hurt your brand image and business performance.
Don’t worry, we have good news for you. Within this post from Camelo, you’ll find out 4 reasons for your customers’ rudeness, along with some solutions to help you comfort your customers, make a good impression on them, and boost up the customer retention rate.
1. Bad service
This is one of the most common reasons for customers’ negative behaviors in the service industry. Of course, poor service never wins customers’ hearts. It makes them angry, resulting in the risk of destroying the reputation you’ve been trying to build for such a long time.
Some lousy service behaviors include a superficial attitude when serving customers, not responding to customers’ requests, quarreling with customers, giving long and nonsensical explanations about poor service, and so on.
The above mistakes are clearly from your side. They might come from untrained staff, staff with negative attitude, or something wrong with your business workflow.
Once customers feel uncomfortable, depending on the situation, they will react differently. Some may complain to you directly, while some can post negative reviews on the Internet and damage your reputation.
To save the lousy performance inflicted on customers, you’d better apologize first, and in a sincere manner. Be responsible for the situation. Say something like: “We are extremely sorry, this is our mistake and we will correct it immediately.” Then, come up with an acceptable solution to cool your customers down.
During the employee training process, you should always emphasize how important it is for your staff to stay calm under any circumstances. Developing a document or handbook including specific answers and quick fixes for situations that could drive customers “crazy” can be a great help.
Working in the service industry, both business owners and staff need to be flexible enough to deal with different types of customers. There will be rude people who make us lose our sanity and be impolite. But they are still your customers, so you need to find a way to provide the best service.
Even if your customers are wrong first, you still need to keep a calm attitude and gently solve the problem. Never blame them for anything that happens, as it only makes things worse and blows your customers up, while showing everyone your lack of crisis management skills.
2. Fail to meet customers’ demands
Customers can become rude when their demands are not met on time. Some may look for some discounted items at your store and then discover that those items are sold out. Some may order a latte and then your staff serve them black coffee.
These problematic and unwanted situations may cause customers to hit the roof. Once again, you and your staff should control temper. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Apologize sincerely and offer alternatives, for example:
“I’m very sorry about this inconvenience. That product has just been sold out. I also ask the staff to check the other stores, but it’s totally out of stock. I really hope you understand. There are currently several similar products to what you are looking for. I’m pleased to consult and help you pick a nice one.”
“We’re very sorry about this inconvenience. We’ll bring you a new cup of latte right away.”
A timely apology and an understanding manner may not fully address the matter. But it can comfort customers by showing that you care about them.
3. Not being listened to
Everyone wants to be listened to, not just customers. If you are unable to listen to your customers, they can quickly become rude.
Problems can occur when you ignore what customers say, respond superficially to their complaints, interrupt them while they’re talking, or not make any move to improve the situation.
For instance, customers have to tell the waiters several times to order a dish. Or they call your customer service multiple times to replace a product, but never receive the replacement.
You should train your employees to listen attentively to customers. Hire more staff if your business is too busy to meet the demands.
In case customers have already got angry, try to capture every message they’re conveying. Then find ways to alleviate the negative emotions that are burning within them. You can offer them some small compensations as well.
For example, a woman gets angry and yells at you because your store sent them the wrong shoe size. You can show her you are listening attentively by giving positive replies such as: “My store reported to me that they’d sent the wrong shoe size to you. I’m very sorry for this unnecessary mistake. And I will send you the correct shoe size, along with a 10% discount voucher right now.”
The right body language is also a core element to show your professional attitude towards customers. Make eye contact. You don’t have to stare at them, as it can make customers feel threatened. Instead, showing a natural, friendly, and hospitable attitude is enough.
Don’t cross your arms when customers are complaining. This may send the wrong signal to customers and can piss them off.
4. A bad day
Your service is perfect, your staff are good, your product has nothing wrong. But some customers still complain about the tiniest things. Most likely, they’re just taking it out on you. They’ve had a bad day, so everything to them looks terrible.
To handle these customers, you should show an amiable and polite attitude. If their demands aren’t something too big, try to comfort them by providing what they need.
If their demands become too unreasonable, you can explain to them that you can hardly provide what they ask for. In case the customer starts to insult you and act violently, you can invite them out of the restaurant or call the police to intervene. We don’t want these circumstances to happen, but it’s a possibility that we should think about.
There they are, the 4 most common reasons for the question “Why are customers so rude?”. Rude customers are typical cases that any business can encounter. However, if you know the reasons of their rudeness and offer a reasonable solution, you can make them happy again.
Besides using the solutions we’ve suggested to deal with these unwanted situations, you should review the service/product quality of your business to see if there are any mistakes that may annoy customers. Constantly improving your service/product quality and business performance is never redundant.