In this post, I share a recent customer service experience and how – when it was finally handled properly – it made me a happy customer. I share some simple steps to providing top-notch customer service if a customer has a problem or complaint – so that you have happy customers too.
I recently had to call an organization I do business with on a personal level. For the past three months, this organization has been automatically charging my credit card in error. Each month I call to get the situation straightened out and have the charge removed from my bill. Each month I am assured it will not happen again. Each month – it does. This was beginning to feel like that Bill Murray movie, Ground Hog Day. I was not a happy customer.
So the last time I called, I was frustrated and I am sure the customer service rep could hear this in my voice. Her immediate response was to give me the time and space to fully explain the situation and why I was frustrated. She then went into problem solving mode offering the appropriate words of apology and concern for my situation. But there was something different this time that I hadn’t noticed in prior phone calls. This time, I heard an attitude of caring that gave me the confidence I needed to trust that this time, the problem would be resolved.
So when a customer calls you to complain or they have a problem, follow these simple steps:
- Begin the call by giving the customer the chance to fully express themselves and state their concern.
- Paraphrase or restate the problem or issue as you heard and understood it.
- Apologize. It costs you nothing to tell the customer you are sorry for what they may be feeling. This is not an admission of guilt or blame on you, your company or products. This is simply stating that you are sorry that they are feeling anger, frustration or confusion.
- Go into problem solving mode being sure to outline the options a customer has so they can participate in the problem solving process with you.
- Think about how you would feel if you were in this customer’s shoes. Having empathy can help you create an attitude that sends a clear signal to the customer that their problem matters to you and getting a resolution is something you want for them as much as they want it for themselves.
So as you think about the growth of your business, be sure to include how the attitude your staff matters when it comes to solving customer problems, as much as the words they use. Remember: Words + attitude = Happy Customers
Have you ever changed your attitude in the middle of a dispute with a customer to be more focused and positive on finding a fair solution? What was the outcome?
If so, please comment below. Comments are always read and appreciated.
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