Dealing with Impatient Customers

impatient customer

Photo by Liza Summer

“Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them.” – Kevin Stirtz

Have you found yourself dealing with impatient customers – the kind, who are easily riled by anything? These people can be hard to deal with and end up making others around them lose their cool too. Irrespective of the aspect of life, everyone has encountered such people. In the business realm, dealing with impatient customers is common. Such difficult customers add to the stress levels of the service staff, create problems for a business, and need constant attention.

There is no business today that can claim to be free from this kind of customer. It’s even more challenging to keep up with them. However, customer service staff should demonstrate a positive attitude towards impatient customers. With a tool, like interactive decision trees, they can create self-service guides and deliver the right information to customers.

Role of technology in customer service

As technology progresses, there’s the rise of new systems, better devices, speedier computer programs, and other time-reducing and labor-saving tools. Customers and society are becoming accustomed to instant gratification, reducing their levels of patience. Ask any customer service person and they will tell you that dealing with impatient customers is an everyday job.

Almost everything is now accessible at the click of a button, or even the possibility of ‘commanding’ devices through one’s voice. It seems natural that customers have begun to expect faster services. When they do not receive it, they become impatient and angry, causing serious damage in many ways to a company. Waiting is passé!

Reasons why customers are impatient

However, companies are run by humans. There are times when energy and efficiency levels run low. It, in turn, hampers the speedy service that customers expect and demand. Companies need to increase their overall efficiency, such that they are able to provide consistent levels of service. They should ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty over time.

However, improving efficiency is not only for dealing with impatient customers. It also saves valuable resources and time for the employees. The most important step would be to identify the reasons for customer impatience. Dealing with such customers would then, be a lot simpler.

Long waiting time

The top reason for customer impatience would be long wait times. It comes with boredom and frustration. Companies do not realize the expectations of wait times from customers. They end up keeping them waiting for longer than customers would deem appropriate. What adds to the impatience of customers, is the fact that companies do not provide accurate answers on how much one needs to wait.

They do not provide the reasons for the delay and the steps being taken to smoothen things out. It is important for a company to think about these aspects from the customer’s point of view. No one likes waiting. It becomes even more tedious if you have no idea why you need to wait. What will happen at the end of the wait? If dealing with impatient customers is not what you want for your company, think about how you can make things smoother and speedier for your customers.

Company approach

Your company may be dealing with impatient customers because of the overall approach of your company. It may seem like it does not value the time of its customers. Customers are the reason a company is in business. In fact, customers invest time and resources in conducting business with your company.

Additionally, they have placed trust in your company. As a business owner, you should ensure that you respect your customer’s time and resources when serving them. Fast and efficient service would, in turn, encourage customers to return to your company repeatedly. They will even tell others about it. This translates to more revenue and profits, ensuring the success of your company in the long haul.

Dealing with impatient customers

As mentioned, this is the age of ‘now and fast’. It means that companies ought to keep pace with customers and their dynamic expectations. Customers are constantly looking for something new, exciting, and that will benefit them and their businesses. If your products or services are what customers are looking for, they will be excited to do business with you.

However, if your company seems slow to respond, and your excitement does not match step with that of the customer, you could soon be dealing with impatient customers. In fact, you will be having an increasing number at hand. It makes sense to remain excited and energized about the offerings of your company.

That gives customers the confidence that they will get what they want. As a customer, you want a smiling and eager-looking salesperson to approach you when you walk into a store. And, not one who is sullen and unenthusiastic. The same applies to the company-customer relationship.

Have strategies that reduce customer impatience

Dealing with impatient customers is not an easy task. You need to put in place strategies and methods to avoid situations that could get customers to the point of impatience. It’s important to check back with customers to understand their expectations. Do they feel the company is doing a good job in ensuring that customers are not waiting?

Customers are investing time and effort to connect with your company. It is the duty of a company to respect what the customer is giving. Ensure that your company representatives are never late for customer appointments. Ensure that they call back a customer when required and show in their demeanor that they value customers.

Reduce customer waiting time

By understanding customer needs and expectations, your company will be proactive in serving customers. It reduces waiting time and the need of dealing with impatient customers. Whatever you do, ensure that customers are informed, and know exactly what they can expect from your company. Customers like people who treat them well.

It means apologizing for any delays, providing them with definite timelines, and compensating them for any inconvenience caused by delays on the part of your company. Treating customers with respect and holding them in high esteem. Despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself dealing with impatient customers. Act swiftly and alleviate the situation. Impatience can quickly become anger. Angry customers vent their feelings to everyone they know, and through social media.

Such an instance can prove to be the undoing of all the years of effort the company may have put into building the business. The most prudent thing to do is to apologize. Then, swing into action to set things right with the customer. We all know that it is a lot tougher, and more expensive to gain a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.

That’s It

Dealing with impatient customers is something that every business must deal with. These customers are tough to handle. They seem to want everything ‘now’, and would not take no for an answer. Impatient customers tend to drain the energy and resources of a company. They remain unmindful about how their behavior affects others. Telling customers off does not work.

Hence, every business must have an effective and robust strategy that helps them deal effectively with these ‘tough cookies’. It is certainly not possible to control how customers behave. However, a company’s response to impatient and rude customers can change a frustrating interaction into a long-term and mutually beneficial business association

Develop interactive decision trees for troubleshooting, cold calling scripts, medical appointments, or process automation. Enhance sales performance and customer retention across your call centers. Lower costs with customer self-service.

Interactive Decision Tree