Customer Complaint? Try…The Personal Touch Method.
Here are 14.5 Steps to Taking Responsibility when Dealing with Unhappy or Dissatisfied Customers.
Not only does this method work, but it provides for a self-analysis at the end to prevent the same problem from occurring again. All 15 steps must be used, or you risk losing your customer.
- Tell them you understand how they feel.
- Empathize with them. Site a similar situation, tell them that it makes you mad too, tell them a similar thing happened to you. GET ON THEIR SIDE.
- Listen all the way out. Make sure the customer has told you everything. Don’t interrupt. Ask questions to understand their problem better, and to find out what it will take to correct the situation.
- Agree with them if at all possible. Never argue or get angry.
- Take notes and confirm back that everything has been covered, and that they have said all they want/need to say.
- Be an ambassador for your company. Tell the customer you will personally handle it.
- Don’t blame others or look for a scapegoat. Admit you (and or the company) were wrong and take PERSONAL responsibility for correcting it. NO EXCUSES!
- Don’t pass the buck. It’s not my job, I thought he said…, she’s not here right now, & someone else handles that are words that are never applicable or acceptable to the customer.
- Respond immediately. When something is wrong, people want (and expect) it to be fixed immediately. The customer wants it perfect.
- Find some common ground other than the problem. Try to establish some rapport.
- Use humor if possible. Making people laugh puts them at ease.
- Figure out, communicate, and agree upon a solution or resolve. Give the customer choices if possible. Confirm it (in writing if necessary). Tell them what you plan to do… and DO IT!
- Make a follow up call after the situation is resolved. Add something EXTRA
- Get a letter if you can. Resolving a problem in a favorable and positive way strengthens respect, builds character, and establishes a solid base for long term relationships. Tell the customer you would appreciate a sentence or two about how the situation was resolved.
14.5 Ask yourself what have I learned, and what can I do to prevent this situation from happening again? Do I need to make changes?