Learn how to explain policies that can't be negotiated. Discover one of the best ways to get customers to accept your word as final so they don't escalate to a manager.
- When customers don't think your policy is reasonable, they may push back, asking to talk to a supervisor or becoming difficult. Because policies usually can't be changed, we have to learn the best approach to get customers to accept your word as final. One of my clients is an optometry office and like all medical practices, this office is regulated by the FDA. One of the mandates is prescriptions can't be renewed without a patient seeing an optometrist. Patients whose vision hasn't changed, don't always want to go through the expense of an eye exam but it's not up to the receptionist, or even the doctor, the FDA makes the rules. Using that client's situation, I'm going to show you how to reduce escalations when it comes to policies customers disagree with. - [Employee] Hi. - Hi, I need to reorder contact lenses, please. - Well, we can help you with that. I will just need to schedule an eye exam first, and you can purchase lenses during that visit. - My eyes haven't changed, I just need to reorder my same prescription from last year. - We have to see patients before we fill in any prescription for contacts or glasses. - But if my eyes haven't changed, why do I have to come in? - [Employee] Well... - It seems to me like you just want to bill patients for time seeing the doctor. Either let me order my contacts or let me speak to a manager. - Just stating the policy with no explanation and no empathy frustrates the customer. Now watch as the employee reframes the conversation using both empathy and an explanation. - Hi. - Hi, I need to reorder contact lenses, please. - We can help you with that. I see you haven't been in our office since July, 9th. That means you're due for an exam. We'll just have to schedule you for an eye exam and you can purchase lenses during that visit. - My eyes haven't changed, I just need to reorder my same prescription from last year. - We realize it can be frustrating to have to come in and do an exam when you don't sense any changes in your eyes. The FDA requires that we see patients once annually before refilling prescriptions. It's to protect the health of your eyes. - Alright, well, let's schedule an appointment then. - This time, the employee offered empathy when he said, "We realize it can be frustrating "to have to come in." And he gave an explanation that justifies the policy. The empathy and explanation reframed the message to establish trust. And a sense of trust helps you create calm with unhappy customers. Customers still may not like your policies but many will at least think, okay, that makes sense, and they'll be more likely to accept your policy and your word as final.
- Recognize examples of pushing when dealing with a customer.
- Summarize the goal of reframing conversations.
- Identify the benefits of using partnering language.
- Determine the best response to a customer who asks to speak to a manager.
- Identify statements that can be used to acknowledge a customer’s issue.