Tips on handling rude customers
A rude customer is definitely one of the inescapable nightmares of the restaurant industry. No matter the place, there are always customers who cannot be pleased at all.
Facing a rude customer is not always a negative experience; but, it can be a great chance to put the patience and customer service skills to the test.
#1: Be a Good Listener!
If one wants to take care of the fiasco as professionally as he can, be a good listener. It means repeating main dialogues of theirs, nodding your head once in a while and actually showing them that you are trying to understand their problem. Making the customer know that you are trying your level best to listen to them will go a long way.
#2: Empathy and Apology
Many a times a customer is speaking rudely is because they have had a bad day. As once opens himself to empathy, say sorry to the customer. Be real and show your empathetic side. Just saying, “I am so sorry” in an apologetic tone should work just fine and if everything goes fine, they will be out of your face before you are done with it. This way one will be able to calm down the customer and will be able to uphold the reputation of the restaurant.
#3: Be Handy with Solutions
The greatest power the staff possesses is making the customer feel special and appreciated. Some of the most common ways of taking care of the situation are 50% off this time or next time or handing a gift card or offer a free appetizer/drink.
Keeping a solution in the hand will make the guests wilfully visit again and will generally curb any kind of bad attitude they might have. Don’t forget to recheck with the manager as to what one can offer without getting sacked.
#4: Know When to Contact the Manager
Usually it's on the server to understand when it's right to bring in the manager. If the customer is behaving very badly, calling your manager in will help. Yes almost all the times, the customer is hoping that the server will face some kind of wrath of manager, but that is a very rare case. Also, contact the manager if one does not know how to clear the issue mostly if it's the first situation at work.
#5: Don’t Let the Customer Push You Back
Mostly it’s very difficult to face rudeness and let it go as it is. It’s all about calming oneself and thinking positive. When one is embarrassed from being scolded or is angry about the whole situation, he should realise that a lot of other people are in the same uncomfortable zone. Empathy is the strongest tool the staff has, and should be used to get the rude customers leave happy and it will be there to comfort once it’s all over.