Customer Service – Defusing an Upset Customer

Once you have actively listened to the customer (see Part 2) then you and the customer will become calmer and more open to a solution.

It is important that you allow the customer to tell his or her entire story. In most cases the problem will have occurred because the customers expectation were not met. This is where the mending needs to take place. In Part 1 of this tip, I addressed managing expectations.

In the case of the moving truck arriving at 3 pm instead of the scheduled time of 1 pm, the business owner needs to acknowledge this error. “Please accept my apology; it is my fault for not making sure that you understood that we have a two hour window for moving truck arrivals as we can’t predict exactly how long each move will take.”

Then it is time to go back to active listening. The customer responds, “I didn’t realize you had this policy, if I had known I would have booked the moving truck first thing in morning. I lost $100 on my deposit because I didn’t have time to finish cleaning the apartment.”

At this point you can continue to listen or move to a proposed solution. You might say, “$100 was deducted from your deposit, you must have felt perturbed. At this point what would make this situation better for you?” It is best to ask the customer for the solution because they know what they can live with. In this case the customer requests a $50 refund from the moving company because they can’t be sure the deduction was totally due to delayed cleaning.

If you agree to the solution, the issue has been successfully resolved and both parties are happy with the outcome.

How have you resolved a customer conflict successfully? Comment here.

In part 4, find out how better customer relationships come from making mistakes.

For more Quick Tips, go to:

Jen DeTracey

Jen DeTracey is a Strategic Alchemist for Lift Strategies. "My focus over the past 25 years is to really drive home the importance of customer retention and getting new customers efficiently. It’s about nurturing your fans and attracting new ones. If you don’t have a system in place to keep customers, you can’t go out effectively get new ones.” Jen offers in-person and phone consultation, keynote speaking, half day training, her “Lift Strategies” book and the "create your customized marketing action plan" through a personalized one to one telephone/online program.

See all posts by Jen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *