When delivering workshops about Customer Service, we always give 6 basic steps to be successful:
- Connect with your clients
- Find out their needs
- Know all the tools and resources you have
- Use them!
- Thank your customers
- Follow-up if necessary
Yesterday, we deepened in these steps, as well as in the skills required to deal with customer complaints face-to-face or via phone or email.
Practice is everything when talking about customer service, so we set a couple of scenarios for a role-play exercise. For example: The Angry Customer
“You are the sales manager of a small firm. You receive a telephone call from an angry customer who bought a home security system from your company but is not happy with it. They are now threatening to take their story to a consumer watchdog and to the trading standards ombudsman. Your objective is to resolve the issue with the minimum damage to the company (both financially & in terms of our reputation). Plan your response and prepare to call the customer.”
But the point of this article is to highlight what, in my opinion, can definitely wipe out any chance of success for the professional. I am talking about the customers’ attitude. Many times, we just hear complaints about how bad the customer service at any particular store was, but what if maybe, as this article of the Huffington Post claims, we just get bad service because we are bad customers.
Why this statement? Because in many occasions, angry, annoyed or disappointed customers behave in such a rude way that makes impossible for the worker to meet all the aforementioned requirements (6 steps).
Obviously, this is not an excuse in order not to behave politely as the professionals we are, but some customers can be so disruptive (shouting, hitting objects, swearing, etc.) that it will be necessary to make an enormous effort to avoid being overwhelmed by the situation.
That is, we should also think about our role as customers/clients/patients, etc. because, contrary to what is usually said, “customers are NOT always right”.