Dealing with difficult customers is not easy, angry customers often crop up when they’re least expected. Whether there is a reason to complain isn’t relevant. Some people just like to get angry and make a scene, hoping to get free food or free service out of it.
Step 1: Let the Customer Vent
The first step is to simply listen. What is the exact complaint? Remain as neutral as possible, and don’t try to defend anyone or anything. You’ll only upset customers if you deny, deny, deny. Even if they’re completely wrong, suck it up.
The mantra in the United States is “The customer is always right.” Of course, we know otherwise, but people still expect to never be wrong when talking to a worker, especially a teenager whom customers often think they can kick around. Teens are often targeted like this.
By letting a customer vent, you help in two ways. One, the customer knows that he or she has definitely been heard and understood. Two, if he or she is yelling and making a scene, then you’ve helped them embarrass themselves more than anything. While you’ve remain calm and attentive, the customer has acted like a child. They will notice this and will probably calm down once they notice that everyone is staring at them, not you.
Step 2: Apologize
At all jobs for teenagers, everyone expects things to be your fault. In reality, that will not always be the case. Don’t ever try to blame or badmouth someone else for the issue, even if it was his or her fault.
Many customers just want some acknowledgement for their troubles. Look him or her in the eye and say sincerely, “I’m sorry about that. I’m going to go and see what I can do to make this right.”
Step 3: Work Together to Fix the Problem
If you can fix the problem easily, go ahead and take care of it. If you need a little more help, don’t hesitate to ask your fellow employees. Jobs for teenagers usually provide teens with a tightly knit group of people to work with and lean on for help when they need it.
For example, say a chocolate milkshake was made instead of a vanilla one at a local fast food joint. Talk to the person making shakes and explain what happened. If you messed up, apologize to him or her as well. You’ll want to maintain a good relationship with your co-workers, as they could be helpful when applying for other jobs. Then try to help without getting in the way. If the shake person is making the new vanilla shake, offer to start on another shake for a different customer so the shake person doesn’t fall behind. This will keep the flow of the store running smoothly.
Step 4: Alert the Manager
Not every problem needs a manager present and some problems need managers immediately. This step is last because for all jobs for teenagers, managers should know if there are any rifts that happen during a shift, big or little. It keeps lines of communication open between staff and management.
Some customers want a manager immediately, and if that’s the case, don’t try to appease them. Get your manager and stand by. You may be asked for background information. As previously said, teens are often targets for people to pick on because they think they can be pushed around. If a customer ever threatens you or anyone else in the store, get a manager immediately and be ready to call the police if necessary. You are important no matter how old you are, and you deserve to be treated with respect.
What the worst customer you’ve ever had to deal with? Do you think jobs for teenagers are often targets for unnecessary anger? Leave a comment below!
Photo by Pietro M