LEROY’S Method Of Managing Difficult Customers

Most of us know the legend of Leroy Brown from that old familiar tune. He was badder than this and meaner than that and quite possibly the last person you would want to cross paths with. But what happens when you suddenly have him as a customer and he is not happy. Whether or not you’re from the Southside of Chicago, you better figure out what you’re going to do when you encounter him. Otherwise, you’re going to have a whole lot of trouble. 

 

There are a lot of different reasons why a customer can be difficult or challenging. It isn’t because they aren’t a good person, and perhaps it is due to a mistake that we made. No matter what the cause is, they desperately need to feel heard and in control. You, on the other hand, can use L.E.R.O.Y.S. Method to work through the customer’s issue for a positive outcome. Disclaimer, no one named Leroy came up with this method, but the acronym works on several levels. It definitely comes in handy if you come across a customer who is ‘meaner than a junkyard dog.’ 

 

Listen – Be sure to get in the right frame of mind so you can listen to the customer without assumptions or judgment. Make sure you get all the facts and write down what is being said.

 

Empathize – Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and whether they or right or wrong, how would you feel? Normalizing their emotions can deescalate the situation and make it easier to relate to one another. 

 

Repeat – Repeat back the important facts that the customer has shared. Note that this is not the time for you to share your facts or your perception of the facts. Demonstrate that you have listened to the customer’s issues.

 

Ownership – Make it your primary directive to care for the customer’s concerns to the best of your skill and ability. Let the customer know that you can either fix the matter swiftly, work on the issue or pass the issue onto someone else who is predesignated to handle the matter. 

 

You ask questions – Always ask permission to ask questions first with the customer to demonstrate respect. When you ask questions it gives the customer a sense of control as they tell their story. This helps them develop the peace of mind that their issue is important. 

Solve or pass – Do you understand what the customer wants versus what they need. Can the customer be satisfied with your help? Determine either the solution or the best next step and set the proper expectation with the customer. 

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