July 3, 2013 By Marc Gordon
July 3, 2013 — No matter how great you treat your customers, at some point one of them is going to find fault. And when they express their displeasure, the response they get will be the true test of your company's customer service policies.
Here are five responses that many businesses are guilt of giving to angry customers, but shouldn't:
- "That's our policy." Nothing sends a customer over the edge like being told the decision to not provide satisfaction was made before they even came in. Treat every complaint as a unique situation and instead of telling them what you can't do, tell them what you can do.
- "No one else has complained." This puts the onus on the customer to defend their complaint. If they care enough to tell you they're unhappy with your product or service, then you should care enough to listen.
- "You're wrong." We all know the customer may not always be right, but there's no need to tell them that. Graciously take the blame or politely explain what you can do – even if it's not much – to make the situation better.
- "It's not our fault." The customer doesn't care if it's your fault. They only care how you can help them. Don't expect a sympathetic ear when you talk about an unreliable supplier.
- "Come back when the manager is in." If your staff don't have the authority to appease an angry customer, then at least give them the authority to manage the situation. Have them get all the relevant information from the customer and forward it to the right person. Then make sure that person promptly follows up with the customer.
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