Happy Customers Mean Better Business

listeningBy Robin Stevens, Internal Operations Coach

A satisfied client might spread the word about having a good experience depending on how dire their situation was, but an unsatisfied client will almost certainly complain to at least one person (if not more), recommending that people not use your services.  Remember that saying “The Customer Is Always Right”?  It does not mean that, objectively speaking, the clients’ complaint is just and correct.  What it does mean is that as far as the client is concerned, he or she has to feel validated for the complaint and they want to be heard not patronized.

These situations can be handled more effectively if you do not take them personally.  Remember that whatever the complaint is has no bearing on who you are as a person.  You must put the client’s experience before your ego and pride.  Resist the temptation to make them feel that they are wrong and you are right.  The issue with thinking like this is you may never win this argument with the client and you will lose any future business with them.

Be sure to first to listen to their complete concern (do not interrupt) and then review all the information. Most bad client interactions escalate because the client doesn’t feel like they are being heard. It is important to empathize with the client to set the tone for the remainder of the call.  You should make statements like “I understand”,   “I am sorry you’ve been upset”.  “Let’s find a way to work this out.”  Saying “let’s” brings you and the client together to find a solution.

If the client repeats the complaint, turn up the empathy by responding with “that sounds incredibly frustrating” keep in mind that empathizing with the client does not mean you are giving the client whatever he or she wants.  When the client is done be sure you ask questions that will help you offer a great solutions.  If your solution is not agreeable with the client asked them what you could do for them to satisfy the situation.  If their request is reasonable, make it happen.

Ability is what you are capable of doing.

Motivation determines what you do.

Attitude determines how well you do it.