How to Keep Your Customers Happy
Customers? We all have them! Yes, it's true, believe it or not, we all have customers in some form. I say in "some form" because we don't always recognize our customers. If you work with others, promote anything, or if you sell any article, you have customers.
So, the point I'm making is each of you can benefit from fine-tuning your customer service skills. Yes - this information is not wasted on anyone!
Here are my tips handling upset customers. I'm talking from my eight or so years of working in a call center and honing my phone skills.
Pearls for Happy Customers
#1 Let an Unhappy Customer Have Their Say
Your approach will vary depending on how the customer contacts you. I always let a customer talk until they couldn't talk anymore. They will usually realize that they are the only ones talking and stop. This method almost always works to de-escalate an irate customer. Likewise with an email. Most angry customers can only write so much, but it still makes them feel better. There is nothing to be gained by cutting off an angry customer.
#2 Don't Ignore the Customers Concern
That takes me to the next issue. If you appear too aloof, the customer will think you are ignoring their concern, and this will anger them more. You need to show they have your undivided attention.
#3 Don't be Defensive
Stay neutral and professional. Maintaining a professional demeanor doesn't mean that you will appear not to care, but you can not look as though you are taking the customer's complaint as a personal attack. These complaints are almost never that and the minute you take them as such you will escalate the situation.
#4 Lack Empathy
Customers like to know you care. Lack of empathy for the customers concern is the number one reason for low customer service satisfaction. Understanding is essential to a customer. It can sometimes be difficult for reality and empathy to find common ground. Sometimes involving a neutral third party to arbitrate can help de-escalate matters.
#5 Slow to Address Concerns
Second in importance only to empathy, customers feel a need to have their problems addressed promptly. Customers become very dissatisfied when customer service is slow to resolve issues.
#6 Don't Use a Forceful Tone in Communication
Raising your voice, shouting, or using a forceful tone in communication with the customer is one of the worst tactics you can take with an angry customer. Yes, you can shout online when you use ALL CAPS! This can be seen as escalating a conversation with a customer. Keep your tone lowered and do not let it escalate to that of the customer's. It is more difficult to escalate a conversation in the presence of someone who is calm and even-tempered.
Master the art of taking this customer:
AND.... Creating this customer!!