How to be mentally proactive when dealing with customers. Tips and tricks for customer support consultants and beyond.
The destiny of your business depends on your customers – the nature of your relationship with them is going to determine a lot of things for you. But, maintaining it can be challenging since it’s a highly unpredictable association.
There are days when customers are rude, happy, sad, angry, abusive, and even threatening. You never know which mood you might catch your customer in, the important thing to remember is to make customers feel at ease and helped.
“Dealing with customers is more nuanced than one might think. People think that it’s a game of words – the right word is all that matters. But in reality, it’s a game of minds, where smart psychological tricks are what makes you stand apart.”
By going after a customer’s subconscious, you are able to deal with every type of customer.The reason being that once a subconscious mind accepts an idea, it begins to apply it. The more you are able to mentally comfort customers, the faster they are in agreement with you.
Using these smart mind tricks, you can engage with your customers in a healthier fashion. Here are five clever psychological hacks for dealing with customers:
1. Avoid ‘Buyer’s remorse’
Customers invest a lot of time, effort, and money in your sales process. After buying the product, if they don’t find a satisfying justification for the purchase, chances are they will regret their decision, which is more popularly known as buyer’s remorse.
Buyer’s remorse makes customers feel that your product will only bring more problems for them, this sentiment is then forwarded among their peers, friends, and family. Such customers are very difficult to deal, as they have already built strong negative perceptions about your brand.
The only way you can beat buyer’s remorse is by not letting it happen in the first place, yes you got it right – It’s ‘non-resolvable’. Avoiding buyer’s remorse during pre-sale and post-sale is the only option you have.
During pre-sales, when you are negotiating with customers, understand what they need. Probe them to know what their requirements are, based on which you will be able to provide a suitable product to the customers.
Post sales are the tricky one, where customer’s guilt is unpredictable. Will buyers feel regretful or not is a question which doesn’t have a proper answer. This is where you need to provide a justification for the purchase.
Here are a few ways you might be able to pull off a smooth post-sales:
Keep your customer service team vigilant, every issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible.
Regularly provide them social validation proofs, including testimonials, reviews etc.
Keep providing customers evidence of how buying this product has been a good decision on their part.
2. Don’t over apologize
According to Beverly Engel, a psychotherapist and the author of ‘The Power of Apology’, apologizing for your mistake is a good habit, but overdoing it might not be such a good idea. Saying ‘sorry’ all the time shows that you are weak and have low self-esteem, these are traits you don’t want to communicate to your customer, especially if they are upset.
When dealing with angry customers, do not keep apologizing, it gives them the upper hand and you are unable to control the situation. Be empathetic to customer’s situation, at the same time, know how to hold your ground.
Instead of begging for an apology, give customers solutions to their problems. It makes you look strong, decisive and respectable in the minds of the customer. These are all traits that help in building trust.
Here’s an example of how you should handle a customer query:
Weak customer service agent: I am sorry to hear that your system is unable to reboot. I will try to do something about it. Once again I am really, really sorry.
Effective customer service agent: I am sorry to hear that. I am sending a video, which has a step-by-step instruction on how to reboot your system. If you still have any query, please let me know. Thank you and have a nice day.
3. Don’t ignore the power of selective perception
For customer service associates, the job becomes more difficult, when you don’t say things that customers want to hear. It’s the psychology of selective perception, where people consciously or subconsciously engage with messages that align with their beliefs.
When dealing with customers, the first thing you need to do is create a rapport. Tailoring your message that fits customer’s bias creates an instant connect. The better your connection, the more customer will open up to you, and the faster you will be able to resolve their problems.
It’s important for you to know what your customer’s beliefs and interests are. Segment your customer based on their likes and dislikes and get insights from your data analytics to track user behavior. Based on this information, customize your message.
4. Reverse psychology
It’s a mind hack that advocates a belief or behavior that is opposite to the one desired, it’s essentially persuading someone without persuading them. It’s a tricky one, but if you are able to pull it through, dealing with customers would be a walk in the park for you.
Often, using aggressive tactics might put customers under pressure. For eg: providing too many alternatives to a single query might put the burden on customers to choose which one to go for. This will only end up making customers more confused, which in turn will raise questions on your own ability.
Understand what customers want and provide specific solutions. The lesser choices, the better it is for the customer. Also, do not give the impression that it is the only available solution that they can choose from – end the conversation by giving them an easy way out.
“Understand what customers want and provide specific solutions. The lesser choices, the better it is for the customer.”
If your customer is facing an issue, provide a solution and then end the conversation by telling them that you understand if they think that your product isn’t working for them. This might sound crazy, but in most cases, it builds trust and gives customers the confidence to apply your suggested solution.
5. Don’t talk bad about your customers
Even if you want to, don’t bad mouth your competitors in front of your customers, they might associate those traits with you. This psychological effect is called Spontaneous trait transference.
If your customers are threatening to leave you and go to your competitor, instead of speaking trash about your rivals, tell customers about the amazing benefits that they might lose because of their decision to leave. Always remember: try not to mention your competitors in a bad light, there is a good chance it will backfire on you.
These hacks will not only help you in proficiently dealing with customers, but they will provide an enriching customer service experience. You will be able to register the experience in the minds of the customers even after the price has been forgotten.
Each hack applied successfully, will bring you closer to building trust and rapport with customers. Knowing what customers think will take your business to new heights.