Scenario: Your customer is calling to complain about her cable subscription that has already been paid for, but is not yet activated. She complied with all the required documents and paperworks, but a month has gone by with no cablemen knocking on her door.
It turns out, the problem lies in the mishandling of customer information. Due to the lack of coordination between the local office and the main hub, the customer database wasn’t updated.
Now that you are faced with a frustrated customer, how are you going to address the issue without sounding distant and tensed? How will you express your concern while remaining composed?
Under trying circumstances, the ability to defuse a challenging situation while demonstrating a healthy level of concern for your customers requires strategy, and a sound approach.
Here are some ways that you can show concern for your customers under challenging situations:
Going back to the scenario explained above—what happens when the said customer who, out of frustration, starts speaking condescendingly towards you?
The very first thing you should do is to look at things objectively. And here comes the usual call to action: EMPATHIZE.
You can empathize with your customers without having to agree with them. You must only convey to your customer that she has every right to be upset.
As a service provider, you are sharing their pain, acknowledging their feelings and taking things professionally. You may say “I understand that this is a frustrating experience for you…”
2. Take responsibility and apologize
The example found above this article clearly shows that it is not the customer’s mistake. Now how can you take responsibility over the situation?
First, you can offer a sincere apology. Your customers will surely appreciate hearing this from your end. However, it shouldn’t just end with an apology. They are more inclined to receive resolutions rather than consolation.
Make sure that your customers can rest upon the fact that you are doing something about the issue at hand. You may say “We are currently fixing this issue. We are very sorry for the inconvenience that this has caused you.”
3. Express gratitude
Most customer service representatives miss out on the idea of expressing gratitude under challenging situations. You’re probably thinking “Why should I thank the customer for being frustrated?”
When your customer expresses dissatisfaction, you are given the perfect entry point to make things right. Take this is an opportunity to make your customer service resonate with your customers. Express your gratitude by saying “Thank you for forwarding this complaint to us…”
4. Involve them in the solution
Showing your concern can only go so far. Your customers must know that there is a solution to the problem. Explain in reasonable detail how you plan on addressing the problem and make sure that the solutions involve your customers.
Be specific with your solutions. You can even include the names of people who will be involved in solving the problem and the time-frame of how prompt you can resolve the issue.
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Photo courtesy – © olly / Dollar Photo Club