I read something interesting this morning. When a customer has a problem, take care of the customer first and then the problem.
That makes sense. If a customer calls with a problem with your company, he is experiencing discomfort at some level. It could be anger, frustration or even fear of dealing with something negative.
When the customer calls, start with assurance. The best words your customer will ever from you is “don’t worry, we’ll take care of everything for you“. I hate it when I hear, “let’s see what what we can do”. That sounds like someone hedging to my ears. It sounds like a compromise is going to be necessary—they’ll see what they can do IF I do my part. I know the next thing I’ll hear is what I’ll have to do—send it back in the original box, pay for shipping, wait 10 days, give a credit card number to “secure” the replacement, etc.
So before you attack the problem, tell the customer you understand his issue and WILL correct it. That makes step two, actually fixing the problem, much easier.
BEWARE! There are some personalities that love to antagonize. These people have a way of frustrating customers. Have you ever called with a problem and the first thing you hear back is, “Name? Is that first or last name? Spell it. Was that an e? Spell it again. Zip code? City?”
As managers, we need to watch these people in action and catch even the slightest hint of digging at the customer’s nerves. Then stop it from ever happening again.
“Your call may be monitored to assure quality”. Why doesn’t all that monitoring ever improve quality?
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog