How many times has this happened to you: You have a problem with a product/service. It’s giving you a hard time so you call for customer service. You give just a brief description of your problem and the supposed “help” tells you, “Sorry, it isn’t our fault. It’s someone elses and there’s nothing we can do. Go bother them. You do something, not me.”
This is the worst thing someone can do in customer service. Ignoring the problem and passing the blame. The problem isn’t solved, there was no help, and it leaves the customer with a bitter taste in their mouth. How can this be corrected?
- Listen! No matter how many times you have heard the same problem before from other customers, let the customer speak. The customer needs to know that you are there to help and that you care. Cutting them off sends a strong message that you don’t care and that they are bothering you. That is the worst thing you can do. Also, keep in mind that these people are frustrated. Let them work off their steam. It is nothing personal, they are just upset about the situation. Once they are done, then speak.
- Ask questions. Get what you can out of the customer without making it feel like an interrogation. Once again, this shows that you are serious about helping them. Also, it can provide valuable insight for fixing their problem. Just take care not to ask too many questions to the point that the customer is annoyed. Just enough to gather ideas for a solution.
- Explore options. Telling the customer there is nothing you can do is the very last thing you ever want to say. It makes you look incompetent and uncaring. Try to reason out other solutions first. If for some reason things are out of your scope then ask the customer if they would like to speak to a manager. That should be a last resort, but may be necessary if things are severe. Still, try your best to rectify the situation without having to pass the buck.
If the situation seriously is out of your hands, make every effort to guide the customer through the proper steps to solving the problem with the outside source. For example, if the problem exists with another company, provide them with the phone number and tell them exactly what to say to them. Better yet, try to take it to the next level by calling them yourself. This can lead to great customer loyalty by just this simple effort. Good customer service is a must if you plan on keeping your customers happy. Make sure they are a top priority and not just something shoved to the back.