No one wants to let a customer down. If you do fail to live up to your usual outstanding service, a prompt, sincere apology is the best response.
Consider these tips to bounce back (and learn) from a subpar customer experience.
Listen to their feedback.
Hear the customer out completely. Don’t jump the gun interjecting with what you think is the problem, because you might be wrong. They want to be heard, not cut off. Without a firm understanding of the issue, the client may feel that you are just saying what he wants to hear, not trying to get to the bottom of the problem.
Don’t get defensive.
It’s natural to want to defend yourself when you feel you are being attacked, but it just looks like you are not taking responsibility. Even if you were not personally involved in the original issue, to the customer, you represent your company. They expect you to have the answers.
Take your time.
Be sure that you get all the details before deciding on a resolution strategy. Repeat their concerns back to them to be sure you have a clear understanding of their issue. Don’t just guess at how the customer wants their problem addressed; ask what it will take to make them happy. You might be surprised how simple their expectations are.
Make an action plan.
Tell the customer how you will resolve their problem and what you will do to prevent it from happening again. Follow up with them to ensure they are satisfied with the outcome and to ask if there is anything else that you can do for them.
Say those magic words.
Don’t forget to say, “I’m sorry.” It can go a long way toward restoring customer good will. Allow the customer to vent. Apologize, then focus must on what can be done to fix the problem and move forward.
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