Turn an Unpleasant Experience Positive

1.    Listen to the Customer.

Often just having someone to listen is enough to let the customer know you are sincerely concerned.

2.    Never Argue.

Sometimes people need to blow off a little steam. Once they calm down most people are more willing to listen.

3.    Apologize.

Let the customer know you're sorry for his inconvenience and that you're glad he brought the problem to your attention.

4.    Empathize.

Let the customer know you're on their side and you understand how they feel. “That must have been terrible. Something similar happened to me once…”

5.    Investigate the Problem.

Find out all you can about the nature of the problem and then repeat the facts to make sure you have them right.

6.    Discover What the Customer Expects From You.

Often the customer just wants somebody to listen. However, if they are looking for something to be done, make sure you find out what it is.

7.    Explain the Limits of Your Authority.

Always do what you can do right away! But if you require someone else’s authorization get it as soon as possible.

8.    Have a Plan of Action.

Be specific about what you are going to do and when it will be done. Do it right away!

9.    Follow Up by Checking Back With the Customer.

Make sure your solution was satisfactory by calling the customer back. Thank him for his patience and understanding.

by Terri Knox