5 Tips to Solve Scary Customer Service Scenarios
Whether your business deals in B2B or B2C, you likely have customers. If you have customers, you’re bound to come across someone who’s unhappy about something — even if your company is known for quality products and stellar service. In the spirit of Halloween, we understand some customer service situations can be frightening for those on the front lines, taking the calls and emails. While some complaints may be valid, others may be questionable. It’s simply the name of the customer service game.
At Modern Postcard, we work with small to large clients both in the B2B and B2C arenas. With over a 95% satisfaction rating on our last client satisfaction survey, we pride ourselves in ensuring our clients’ needs are exceeded. In the rare event one of our clients are less than satisfied, our team of service experts does everything possible to remedy the situation. Here are some tips they recommend to win repeat business and foster good, lifetime customer relationships:
- Listen (we mean really listen)
“What seems to work well for me is to really listen to the customer. That means allowing them to vent, fully identifying the issue and even agreeing with them or acknowledging what a difficult situation they are in. I feel this process basically aligns you with the upset customer, so they know you are on the same team and can work together toward the resolution.” — Jennifer
- Put your defenses down
“As a salesperson, it is so easy to get defensive and protect our processes when a customer calls in upset. If we argue or try to defend ourselves right away, it makes matters worse. Customers just want to be heard because they are most likely stressed out about an event or project deadline. Once they are done explaining, I simply let them know we will offer the best possible solution to make the issue right. I almost always let them know I am going to get upper management involved and make them top priority. How we react and respond is crucial to getting any future business from them.” — George
- Be sincere
“I treat customers like I want to be treated. I let them vent their frustration and I listen without interrupting. I try not to take their anger personally. I let them know I am sorry (it is important to be sincere). Quite often, they just want to be heard.” — Victoria
- Be your customer’s advocate
“I always tell my clients that I am their advocate here at Modern. It has a calming effect. Once they know I have their best interests at heart, they feel more at ease and are more willing to engage in a non-adversarial dialogue that helps facilitate a resolution to the issue that caused them to be upset. In my experience, this approach is conducive for customer retention.” — Don
- Apologies can go a long way
“I usually open with an apology for any confusion or miscommunication in regard to the issue, then ask for more details about the concern. Depending on what the issue is, I let them know I’ll get together with my team to figure out what happened and get back to them later in the day or as soon as possible.” — David
Bonus ideas for maintaining good customer relationships
- Send a personalized thank-you note as a follow-up, whether it’s hand-written or electronic, like GratzieCard
- Send your company’s latest deals or offers with a few ideas of how the discounts can help the customer for an upcoming project
- Follow-up with the customer after their order has arrived, to ensure they are satisfied and received the results they were expecting
- Schedule a future follow-up date to proactively discuss marketing plans for the remainder of the year
- Remember to ask for a referral from all of your satisfied clients
So, next time the office phone rings and you have a less-than-thrilled customer on your hands, use these tricks of the trade to calmly reassure them, then address any issues at hand with smart solutions. Keeping customers happy is the number one goal at Modern Postcard — so we hope our advice can help your business maintain great customer relationships.
Call a Direct Marketing Specialist at 800.959.8365.