It’s all about the experience! Good customer service is the source of success of every company. All efforts you invest in other services and products might be worthless if you don’t get customers to return to your business and share their good feedback with others.
Selling a product or a service to a customer once is only half the battle. The key of a long term, profitable business is to build up a strong costumer-business relationship and this is only possible through good customer service. People will not forget how you made them feel, so make sure they leave you with a positive feeling. Below are important clues that will guarantee that your customer care does not turn into a nightmare.
“The customer is always right!”
What? Even when they are wrong?
“The customer is always right” The spirit of this statement is good. The logic, however, does not always hold true.
• Customers are human, and make mistakes
• Not all customers are 100% honest
So, how can we deal with customers when they are wrong?
“Help the customer feel right”
Our attitude and behaviour can go a long way towards achieving this:
Attitudes: Courteous, friendly, helpful, calm, win-win, professional
Behaviour: Questions/clarity, listening, positive body language and voice tone, express appreciation, clearly explain actions and solutions.
People will forget exactly what you said and did, but people will not forget how you made them feel!
Say ‘No’ graciously
1. Listen to the request
Just listening softens the situation. An immediate ‘no’ can spark a negative reaction.
2. Say ‘No’ graciously
No is a short word and can sound blunt. In a polite and firm tone, say ‘no’ along these lines, but adapt them to your style:
Work: “I’m sorry; I can’t help out at the moment…” “I hope you’ll understand that to go ahead with this right now is difficult…”
Socially: “Normally I’d like to go along with that arrangement, but please excuse me”.
3. Give reason(s)
Factual, time related reasons carry the most weight, especially in the workplace. These are often the reasons why you choose to say ‘no’ in the first place.
In a social and family context these may be some grey areas e.g. personal likes and dislikes. When giving your reasons here, bear in mind the philosophy.
“Tell the truth in such a way that it causes the least damage”.
4. Offer alternative(s)
Despite saying ‘no’, you are showing that you still want to help, by offering alternatives. Sometimes these alternatives offer a better solution.
In practice it may look something like this:
No Mr Smith, sorry I cannot put you through to the company CEO directly from reception. What I can do is to put you through to his secretary, Ms Campbell. She is the best person to assist you with your query.
Did you like this article?
If so, why not download the book it was based on, “CUSTOMER CARE OR NIGHTMARE! SAVE YOUR CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!”, written by Clive Price and Jean B. Dean?
Download this book to learn more about how to create a valuable customer service experience!