If your business deals with the outside world there will always be an element of customer service. If you are not directly involved with customer facing business and involved in a unsavory situation if you applied one of these ideas, I bet the situation would have been improved.
1 – Positivity breeds positivity
If the culture in your organization is a negative one this will impact everything you touch. When the entire staff is in a funk with a poor attitude your customers will feel this immediately in how they are dealt with. Some employees may hide it better than others which is great, and their presentation would be only improved if things were looking up. The negative remainder will only pull you further down. Address the issues the team is dealing with directly by objectively listening them to best assess the negativity. Understanding the environment will help you get a handle on everything. A positive environment will carry over just the same as a negative one does for your customer’s impression.
2 – Look at all the information BEFORE presenting a solution
Ask great questions to fully understand the situation. Get in the habit of asking those questions open-ended to get direct answers with detail rather than the simple “Yes/No” variety. Open-ended questions will allow for you to ask a follow up question if you need to dig deeper. Just because a situation that has arose before with a similar appearance you have now does not mean it is the same solution. Jumping in with both feet to a solution that does not correct anything will only waste more time resulting in declining the customer’s perception. Also you will begin to lose the opinion of being an expert in your field. Now doubts are raised for when you head down the avenue to correct the issue at with the correct solution. Double trouble.
3 – Tell what you CAN do for them. Not what you CANNOT do.
Not every customer interaction will have a positive outcome. This is not a perfect world. Though to improve the strike of disappointment it is simple. Give the customer options on what you can do for their situation. Not just negative aspects of their already bad situation. Also integrate number one on this list to soften the blow. It may not be the perfect solution they desire though if there are options it will be making progress. If the customer has just had a negative experience no need to bring it down even further with no. Customers are more likely to spread the word of what you did do for them in the situation rather than instead of telling others what you did not.
4 – You are the face of the organization. Behave as such.
When customers are upset they may take their frustrations out on you since you are right there. That’s fine. They are most likely good people just at the moment misdirected. They see you as the one causing the problem indirectly. They aren’t mad at you personally just the badge on your chest.
Do not step to levels of arguing back with them in their displeased attitude. It will not make progress for either yourself or the customer. (See 1 and 3) You are the face of the organization they seek to make improvements on their situations. Behave in a manner you would wish to be greeted with if roles were reversed.
5 – Change begins from the top down
If you are in the leadership position in the organization it is on your shoulders to dictate how the customer experience is maintained. If you permit a poor version to be conducted then do not become surprised when word comes back of it being that way. There is no exception for the experience to not be superb. You promote what you permit is the saying to sum this up. If the experience is not where you want it to be then begin the plan to get it where it needs to be. Set goals and celebrate those milestones when they are met.
Improved customer experience will increase the performance of any business. Treated well customers will become loyal to your brand looking for more.
Let me know in the comments what you think of the list. What would you add to this list?