Is The Customer Always Right?
How do you prioritize the time you spend dealing with customers? Well, in this blog post, we explore some strategic and tactical approaches to increase effectiveness surrounding customer service issues.
As a professional who wears many hats, you may feel drained when helping strong-willed individuals resolve complex customer service issues.
When we ran a survey during a Business Expo the results rang loud and clear.
In an effort to maintain a high reputation, clients’ needs must come first. However, it is important to understand that adhering to the “the customer is always right” mantra presents some challenges.
So, what makes a customer high-maintenance?
Do your customers just need some extra hand-holding?
Some customers require detailed explanation and perhaps more attention.
Some people just need more reassurance. Once they get it, they are off on their own.
In other cases, providing education in assimilating new products or services is necessary.
You may be so accustomed to your product already that you lack the perspective that it is new to others.
What can you do?
- Take an objective look at the information you give them. If it is only verbal, create a FAQ sheet for customers to review that before they call you.
- If you already have material, ask someone who is less familiar with your product to evaluate it.
Consider posting your support material online, so customers can have unlimited access to the information.
- If you have the means and the technology, provide a help desk support via chat, email or other digital formats.
You may still need to reassure clients. Pointing them toward written material will cover technical details and save you time over and over again.
Remember, educating clients on how to incorporate your products and services into their lives is an opportunity for building long-term relationships, driving repeat sales and increasing referrals.
Do your customers expect more than what you indicated you could deliver?
On some occasions, you may find yourself spending many unscheduled hours responding to customers’ additional requests. It is not unreasonable to begin to feel that it is not worth your time.
You may loop in circles, revisiting over and again that which you already provided. And yet, the customer may not be happy with the results and require more fine-tuning. Although you want them to be fully satisfied, you had no initial intention to spend so much time on additional requests at the price you quoted for the job.
How do some customers expect you to do so much more?
Often, when presenting your services and you reveal all that you can do for them, you become their go-to person. They begin to trust that you are able to alleviate any issue and expect that you do.
What can you do?
Be sure to mention that there is a cost associated with your time.
In some fields, like Law, it is common to have a structured hourly fee. While other professionals allow a set number of modifications free of charge, beyond which they require an additional fee.
Of course, this is reasonable. Your customer is more compelled to come back if you provide after-purchase customer service. Lacking that service may create a disappointing experience, which you’d want to avoid.
Keeping that in mind, you can create a better overall approach.
When you repeatedly get customers who expect more than anticipated, it’s time for you to:
- Review how you present your services.
- Include in your presentation specific terms that discuss additional use of your resources beyond the allotted after-purchase service period.
Are your customers unhappy and willing to go into conflict with you?
Sometimes customers do complain and while doing that, they drain your energy.
Any customer who paid for your services wants to see results.
The results that they had in mind may not always be what you guaranteed. When they don’t see the results they expected, they may be disappointed and may voice it to you, others, or to everyone at the same time (using social media).
You may consider yourself lucky if they complain to you first. You still have a chance to avoid a looming public conflict and preserve your reputation.
What can you do?
Not only do you have to resolve the issues that they present to you, but also face the drama of their delivery with finesse.
When you deal with an already upset customer, the best thing you can do is
- Listen patiently without trying to prove that you are right.
- Ask questions so you can learn what is an acceptable solution for this customer.
- Consider implementing the solution, to maintain good will.
When you’d like to prevent the next flare-up, use a preventative approach and
- Engage the customer in a discussion prior to the purchase to understand whether his specific needs would be addressed by using your service.
- Get a clear understanding of their expectations. Sometimes, you may lose the sale but it is better than losing credibility.
When you want to create a whole new way of relating to customers that will reduce aggressive complaints, you may want to consider working with a professional to help you improve your communication skills.
Bottom line of Customer Service
Your reputation is built on how you treat your customers and the customer service that you provide. You may think that they are incorrect, but you may find yourself with fewer customers if you behave as such.
Share with us in the comments below what was the hardest challenge you had with a customer and how it was resolved.
If you are finding it difficult to deal with the customer service issues on your own, seek help from a business development consultant at The Round Well! Call us at (732)385-1522 to discuss what our certified coaches can do for you.