Like it or not there are many things that will put an unsatisfied customer over the edge and you in a situation where you just can’t win. It’s important to be able to communicate effectively with customers so that any issues don’t escalate into something more. Handle each issue with calmness and grace. Here are some simple yet hazardous things to avoid with your customers.
1. Never tell the customer they are in the wrong.
This just puts them on the defensive and will cause the customer to argue with you more. It is always difficult to change someone’s mind, we all have a stubborn streak sometimes, but telling them they are wrong will just make it harder and get you off to a bad start.
2. Don’t argue.
Arguing with your customer is a no-win situation. Yes, you may be right and you may be able to prove your point but at what cost? The customer will most likely get defensive and argue back. In the end, you may not be able to salvage your customer relationship.
3. Don’t speak in a know-it-all tone that tells the customer there’s no negotiation.
You don’t have to prove the customer wrong. This type of tone puts the customer on the defensive again and is not appropriate. Your job should be to understand the customer, sympathize, and find a solution to the problem that works for the customer and the company.
4. Don’t get defensive.
Don’t say “we would never do that.” Instead, let the customer state their problem while you listen. You could say, “This is not our policy and I apologize this was your experience with us.” And move into the solution after that.
5. Don’t forget to apologize.
Even if the customer is at fault – apologize. Apologizing is not your admission of fault but it’s an expression of your regret. For example, “I apologize for any inconvenience this experience has caused you.”
One last thing to remember, the way you handle this issue will become the issue. A little understanding can go a long way.
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