This week we feature an article from Skylar Ross, contributor at Raincatcher. He writes about how to turn negative customer service interactions into positive experiences. You would more than likely prefer if all of your customer interactions and transactions were completed smoothly and resulted in positive experiences for the customer and your business. However, you […]
This week we feature an article from Skylar Ross, contributor at Raincatcher. He writes about how to turn negative customer service interactions into positive experiences.
You would more than likely prefer if all of your customer interactions and transactions were completed smoothly and resulted in positive experiences for the customer and your business. However, you also are more than likely aware that this ‘perfection’ is highly unlikely and not the normal product of human behavior. The truth is that no matter how considerate, accurate, and helpful you or your business are towards your customers, problems will always arise. A few customer service problems during every quarter are not a cause to worry. In fact, your business’s reputation will be determined less by the initial problem, and more by how you choose to handle this problem and appease the customer’s worries and concerns.
The following list discusses five tips every business can implement into their customer service procedures. These tips will allow you to transform a bad customer experience into a positive one.
It is highly probable that negative feedback your business receives from a customer will be directed at a particular agent or employee. After receiving this information, it is important you do not respond to the customer before talking with the particular agent mentioned. You will want to hear things from their perspective to better gather information on what happened during their exchange with the customer. There are two sides to every story.
In these situations, it may also be helpful to gather other agents and employees to talk about how you should go about handling the negative feedback. Collaboration will allow you to develop a strategy to handle upset customers without first issuing blame onto your agents or employees.
This procedure is not appropriate in all discourses or industries. However, if you do work in an industry where providing free services or gifts is appropriate then this can be a highly effective way to handle unhappy customers. B2B companies should reach out first before sending gifts to customers of another business. It is also important that you keep track of who you have sent free gifts to. After all, you don’t want to keep rewarding the same unruly customer over and over for their inappropriate behavior.
Some customers may care less about free gifts and more about a sincere and genuine apology. After you anticipate what your customer is looking for in terms of an apology, you should look to schedule an in-person meeting where you can explain your feelings towards the situation in person. Traveling to a location that is convenient for the customer is a great strategy, especially in a B2B relationship.
During the in-person meeting, it may be easier to develop a personal relationship and compromise on a solution. After all, when people talk together in person it is substantially easier to understand where each other is coming from.
While you probably don’t want your superior to be informed of every little customer complaint, in some situations it may be necessary to involve them. They can normally be extremely helpful when you are dealing with major mistakes and problems your agents or employees have caused. Your executives can also meet with the customer or their executives to develop a solution and plan for future interactions between your two parties. At the very least an apology from the superior of a company shows that you are committed to achieving great relationships with your customers.
Just like the best defense is a good offense. The best way to handle negative customer feedback is to prevent these situations from arising in the first place. Communication is one of the most effective ways to prevent negative customer relationships from forming. Make sure that your agents and company are well aware of what the customer wants or needs, and vice versa make sure the customer is well aware of what services or work you are promising to provide.
Every negative customer interaction can be attributed to a flaw in accountability or communication. The tips previously discussed will help you develop a better plan to handle adverse customer relations. However, you should also constantly be looking to improve how accountable and communicative your agents and employees are towards your customers.
Skylar Ross is a contributor at Raincatcher and a blogger. His contributing site, Raincatcher, provides useful tools and advice for business owners such as a business valuation calculator, exit planning strategies, and guides to selling your business.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: Conscious Capitalism Gets Creative in COVID-19
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