My previous blog touched on the topic of How to Treat Your Customer. This is such an important topic that I decided to expand and discuss the issue many companies face which is; difficult customer questions, situations, and complaints. How a company responds to these might make or break the customer’s loyalty to the brand and their overall experience. The Social Age has provided so many benefits for both companies and consumers, however this has also increased the timeliness in which a customer expects a genuine response to their problem.
I will again be looking at the amazing article by Help Scout, “How To Talk to Your Customers.” They provide a great framework for answering many customer service question any employee may have specifically with customer engagement and answers. They broke it down into three separate communication sections and in this post I will be focusing on their second topic of “Mastering Difficult Conversations.”
“Whether you end up with a satisfied customer or an unhappy one might come down to how you phrase your response. (Help Scout)”
Here are some of my favorite points they make for this topic:
- Apologize sincerely
- Don’t linger on the apology
- Be direct
- Admit when you’re in the wrong
- Get personal
- Admit what you don’t know
- Focus on the end, not the means
- Make your customers feel heard
- Don’t tolerate outright abuse
These are just a few of the amazing tips and explanations that Help Scout gives in their article. I think the first point of apologizing sincerely is one of the greatest tools a company can use. Customers’ are people and they want to be treated as such, they do not want to hear the generic corporate headquarters generated response. They want to feel that they are being sympathized with in the situation that they are facing at the moment. One of the best things an employee can be trained to do is be as sincere as possible when dealing with customer, while also maintaining professionalism.
All levels of employees within a company need to be sincere in their apologies, especially if the customer was treated poorly. In my previous blog about the United Airlines customer service crisis this past week I talked about apologies. Even at the CEO level sometimes the apology can seem insincere, which will affect a company negatively. With the ease of access to social media platforms, insincerity will be spread like wild fire if customers are not happy with the response a company is giving. Which is why I believe that when dealing with any difficult situation one of the biggest keys is to remain sincere, no matter what level of the organization you are in.
Did you feel as though the employee was sincere the last time you had an issue or complaint with the company? Did you receive timely feedback? Let me know by leaving a comment!