Dealing with the know it all customer

Handling The Know It All Customer

Learn How To Deal With The Know It All Customer

Every once in a while you’ll come across a customer who thinks, rightly or wrongly, that s/he knows more about something than you do, and is intent on “proving it”. It’s annoying, particularly when that individual clearly isn’t more knowledgable, and believes things that you know are incorrect.

Here are some tips to use to handle this kind of customer.

Don’t React As If Attacked

It can feel that the know it all is attacking you or treating you with a lack of respect. It’s more likely that this is just a way for that person to feel good about him/herself, and it has very little to do with you personally. Even if it IS attack or lack of respect, don’t react defensively or try to “win” this battle. You will probably always lose if you try to win.

If You Must Correct The Customer

If a customer states something as a fact, and you know it’s incorrect, your first task is to decide whether his “error” is relevant to the current discussion. If it’s really not relevant to the particular product or service being discussed, then it’s best to let the mistake pass without comment.

However, if it’s something that is directly related to the product or service being discussed, and you feel you must “correct the misconception”, do so gently and positively.

For example, let’s say a customer says: “Oh, that model of home theatre has 1000 watts“, and you know that, in fact, it’s 1500 watts, you might want to comment as follows:

That’s odd, because I was looking at the manual, and if I recall correctly it’s just about 1500 watts.

And don’t reply like this:

You are wrong. It’s 1500 watts.

Give The Customer His Strokes

Know it alls are probably desperate for a little recognition. Since it costs nothing to provide it, then provide it, so long as you aren’t reinforcing false knowledge about the product or service you are talking about.

Do it generally. For example:

“Wow, you sound really knowledgable about home theatre. Do you have an electronics background?”

Tread Carefully Lest The Customer Does Know More

You can’t possibly know everything about everything, so will come across individuals who know more about something than you do. It’s a little embarrassing to realize a customer may know more about a product line that you do, but it will happen.

So, remember that know it alls, sometimes DO know it all, which is another reason not to argue with them or try to “win”.

Keep an open mind to what the person is saying, even if s/he is an obnoxious and aggressive know it all.

If you don’t know, or feel unsure, then check. There should be no shame in saying: “You know, I hadn’t heard that. Let me check.”

Author: Robert Bacal

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