Jul 15th 2003
By Christopher Knight
- LISTEN first, with sincerity.
- Don't assume the problem is always on their end. ENTERTAIN the possibility that the customers complaints are real, as many times they are REALLY a problem with you or your unit or company.
- DO NOT SAY THESE WORDS, in the heat of a difficult customer confrontation: "Our Policy Is", "I Can't", "The Computer or something outside of you failed", "They....." meaning you don't intend on taking responsibility for solving the problem.
- Give them your name, and tell them that you will personally handle the problem. Then do it.
- Your most loyal customers, WILL ALWAYS be those who had a problem, that you solved to their satisfaction, rather than the customers who never had a problem. Remember the importance of this distinction.
- After you offer to solve the problem, FOLLOW UP a few days into the future to ensure they are now satisfied. This is key.
- Shock value: Give them the option to leave you, with your apologies. Sometimes it is better to let them leave you, because some customers are just angry and mean about life, and life is too short to serve folks who hate themselves.