- So far in this course, we've covered what to do when you encounter an upset customer. That's important stuff, but what you do afterwards can lead to fewer upset customers in the future. This video focuses on preserving the relationship with customers who are upset or angry. They might be upset in the moment, but we want them to feel better the next time they do business with our organization. An upset customer, like any other customer, has the potential to impact your organization in a number of ways. They might stop doing business with you.
They can provide negative word-of-mouth advertising by telling their friends about their bad experience. And they can make your job harder if they're still angry the next time you serve them. I also look at preserving relationships as a personal challenge. One of the biggest accomplishments in customer service is to find a way to get an angry customer to like you. I remember a time when I worked in a call center and I entered a customer's order incorrectly. She was pretty upset, but I made it my goal to smooth things over. I redid the order, double checked it to make sure I got it right, and then I sent the replacement via express shipping and got approval from my boss to let the customer keep the incorrect merchandise.
I also followed up with her to make sure she was happy with the replacement order. She started out angry, but by the end, she told me she was really happy with how things turned out. She even told my boss I had done a good job. So how can you preserve a positive relationship when a customer starts out angry? It starts by using the skills we've already covered in this course to help the customer feel better. Let's recap some of them. Control your fight or flight instinct so you can focus on helping the customer. Empathize with the customer to validate their negative emotions.
Use the acknowledge and refocus technique to move towards finding a solution. And help the customer be right even when they're wrong. These steps can help customers feel better at the end of our interaction than they did at the beginning. Of course we can't always make the customer feel a hundred percent better by the end of the interaction. Sometimes we need a little time and a little follow up to make the customer feel better in the long run. Here are two techniques you might try. One great technique is to follow up with the customer via phone, email, or even a handwritten note.
Following up after the interaction gives the customer a little time to cool down. The follow up also shows the customer you care and want to preserve the relationship. The second technique you can use is reconnecting with the customer the next time you interact with them. Be sure to give the customer a warm and friendly greeting. You won't be able to repair the relationship if you greet the customer by saying, "Oh, you again." If appropriate, revisit the solution you came up with the last time so the problem doesn't happen again.
And make sure you provide them with your best service. This shows your customer that you value their business and you're able to move on. It's human instinct to want to avoid someone with whom you've had a negative encounter. In any other setting, we could. But in customer service, it's up to us to rise to the challenge and find a way to preserve the relationship with even our most challenging customers.
- Listening with empathy
- Helping the customer be right
- Preserving the relationship
- Learning from angry customers
- Passing along complaints
- Replacing trigger words