In today’s world of smartphones and social media, companies have to be aware that good customer service is critical.
When United Airlines created a social media storm about removing a passenger this week–
A man was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville, Ky., on Sunday, after the flight was overbooked and the passenger refused to adhere to the airline’s decision to randomly remove four passengers. by United Airlines forcibly removes passenger from overbooked flight
United Airlines stock plunged during the week and it has lawsuits pending due to the incident.
Make me Feel Important
Mary Kay Ash of Mary Kay Cosmetics said about customer service once, “Imagine that every customer is holding up a sign that says, Make me feel important.“ When you get that this is all a customer wants, you can create a customer friendly environment.
According to The US Department of Commerce, the main reason customers leave a business, after poor product quality, is due to poor customer service.
That says it all.
The truth is, every customer is always at risk of leaving you. It’s like a middle school romance. Any little thing can cause you to break up.
What are a few steps to stop your customer from leaving you?
- Even if you don’t think it’s your company’s fault, it’s important to apologize to the client anyway. “I’m so sorry you feel this way,” is a good way to apologize without taking the blame. However, if it was truly your fault, own up to it and apologize profusely.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Try stating, “I certainly understand; that would upset me too.” Then, move on toward getting answers that can help you solve the customer’s complaint to their satisfaction. You can empathize without being emotional. While it is personal to them, or they would not be irate, this is business and you should not take anything they say personally.
- Even if you’re reading a complaint rather than listening on the telephone, take special care to really hear what the customer is saying between the negative words. If you have to, cut and paste what they are saying in a separate document, add in appropriate spaces, take out curse words, and find out what is really the issue by eliminating the extraneous information. If you need to, escalate the issue and call the customer. Phones can be very humanizing.
- Start Small
- Once you’ve determined the root problems, take small steps toward rectifying the problems one at a time. If you have to, ask the customer what you can do to make it better. If it’s possible to solve the problem in the manner the customer desires, do it. If not, offer to meet in the middle.
- Draw the Line
- Know when to give up. Yes, there are times with some customers that it’s better to simply give up. If you’ve done all the things that you can above, and they’re still irate and have not calmed down, it’s time to consider letting the customer go. Not every customer is going to fit with your vision and that is okay. Calmly return their money, and send them on their way.