How to Identify and Deal with Difficult Customers in the Banking Sector

Bank worker with customer

When employed in the banking industry you deal with a large variety of customers from all walks of life on a daily basis. The average UK resident is believed to visit a bank an average of 7 times a year according to industry analysts CACI. With the introduction of more mobile banking services, this number is expected to decrease to only 4 visits a year by 2022.

In a bid to keep the traditional banking system alive, it has become increasingly important to ensure a positive experience for every customer that walks into a branch of Barclays, HSBC or any of the other banking institutions in the United Kingdom.

Despite your best efforts, you are still bound to come across problematic customers. Luckily swift identification and possessing the necessary skills to deal with such customers will serve you well in diffusing any unpleasant situations. Here are the different types of difficult banking customers and how to deal with them.

The pessimist

Pessimists are present in all walks of life and are often some of the most difficult banking customers to deal with. From the moment a pessimist walks into the bank, things will go awry.

A pessimist will inform you of his low credit rating, his recent divorce and his inability to sleep through the night before you have even had the chance to inquire about his well-being. Pessimists have the ability to drain the life forces of those around them and should be dealt with swiftly. Present yourself in a cheerful yet professional manner and offer possible solutions to pertinent issues that are relevant to your job.

Advising a customer with a negative credit rating can be difficult but if you remain professional and offer them valuable guidance to begin to repair their credit and improve their situation. Suggesting they check over here and at other resources aimed specifically at those with credit issues is helpful without being pushy and falling into the trap of trying to make everything overly positive.

The know-it-all

The banking industry is full of customers who believe they know everything about the industry, the global financial climate and what products and services are best for them, and everyone else.

These customers like to showcase their knowledge and will have an inherent need to dominate any conversation. It is important to stand your ground when dealing with know-it-all’s as they are known to try and ruffle your feathers and make you feel inferior to them in a bid to secure a better deal. While you can compliment their extensive knowledge of your products and services, don’t appear patronizing as a dented ego can soon turn into aggression.

A know-it-all will insist that he knows which investment options are best for him and will find fault with all your suggestions. Try to subtly coax him into your way of thinking by presenting the most viable solutions to him in a manner that will make it seem like it was his idea. With a bit of flattery and lots of attention, these customers can become some of your most loyal.

The aggressive customer

While banks often seem rather dull and dreary, they can turn into battlegrounds at the hands of an aggressive customer. While some people are simply more dominant and aggressive in nature, others veer towards aggression in a bid to get what they want.

These customers are often arrogant, very critical and highly impatient with no regards for the bank’s protocols. Customers with bully tendencies won’t hear you out when you explain certain procedures to them and may even become verbally or physically abusive when you have to point out that they do not match the criteria required for certain products/service.

The best way to deal with an aggressive customer is to remain calm, never matching the aggression. Don’t engage in an argument, rather acknowledging any frustrations and aim to find a solution that is amicable for all.

Regardless of how focused you are on rendering good customer service, it is important to remember that you can’t always please everyone. Problem customers are a reality of any organisation but by being able to identify the different types of problem customers, and knowing how to handle them, most negative situations can be turned around completely.

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