Previously we talked all about how personalized customer service techniques can endear you to your customers and instill loyalty. It’s a winning strategy, but you can’t make everyone happy. There will always be someone who cannot be appeased, placated, or consoled. Here are some tips on how to be prepared to professionally and personally handle difficult situations.

Are they friend, or foe? Identify whether your unhappy customer is truly upset with their experience, or if they’re just out to cause a scene. If you can afford to provide a free replacement or free product to everyone who complains, go for it. That being said, sending free product to someone may not be enough. Determine whether the customer deserves or requires an apology, free product, a discount on a future purchase, or nothing at all so that you don’t waste precious time and resources on something you just need to let go.

Craft your response, and stand your ground. Avoid responding to an unhappy customer if you don’t have time to devote your full concentration on the task, even if it will just take a moment. Be sure that you understand the complaint Your Groove JTfully to avoid responding in a manner that suggests you are providing the customer with anything other than respect. If the complaint has upset you in any way, take at least an hour to allow to respond appropriately, and run your response by someone else on staff first, too. When you’re dealing with a conversation in person or on the phone and you feel pressured to provide a fix you aren’t comfortable with, take down contact information and let the customer know that you are going to review the situation and will respond as soon as possible. Just make sure that you do respond, even if it’s to say no to their demands.

Learn to de-escalate a situation, especially if you deal with customers face-to-face. It’s not a bad idea to attend seminars on customer service or to treat your peers to coffee and ask them for examples of how they have handled uncomfortable customer service situations. Always remain calm. Assure the disgruntled party that you’re listening to the complaint and giving it due respect. Be careful not to make promises that might be bad for business.

Accept the fact that negative reviews will be left about your company online, and reply to them. Display your professionalism and dedication to customer service for all to see, just as the irate customer has aired their disappointment. However! Resist going public with anything other than an invitation for the offended party to contact management to further discuss the issue.

Finally, conduct a debrief. Once the situation has been handled as far as it can be, grab a cup of tea and sit down without distraction to analyze how the situation escalated, if it could have been handled better on your end, and whether there is a problem within your processes. It’s a good idea to conduct your debrief with a colleague, but taking a time out for yourself might be just what you need to regroup and walk away from the situation at its conclusion.

Jelly Triangle can help make your online marketing strategy customer friendly. Talk to us about fresh website content, blogging, online advertising, and SEO optimization. Call (519) 624 8888; to book your commitment-free consultation.

 

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