We dealt here with the importance of a professional and sincere greeting at the customer ‘s first contact with a company–usually the first step to a successful sale. On the art of employing excellent listening skills–we stressed accompanying posture, attitude, and your own questions to show attentiveness and readiness to help in a pre-sale environment. Now, having employed such great customer service skills, having been successful at the “point of sale”, make sure the bubble does not burst, that the customer returns for more good products or services, all wrapped in your excellent customer service.
Promise good, deliver great
This is sometimes referred to as “under promise, over deliver”. If the spectacles were promised in seven days’ time, the customer will be suitably impressed if, after four days she receives a call to announce the glasses ready for pick-up. On the other hand, please do not have the product sitting there–even after the seven days have elapsed–without notifying the customer that it is ready. Worse yet: Do not have the customer call on the eighth day to inquire, only to be told,” Oh yes! Your spectacles are here. Sorry.” This has been a personal experience
Let customers complain
When they do, the power is yours to help and repair the damage. When they don’t, the power is theirs to acquaint their many Twitter followers and Facebook friends with their “catastrophe”. This could eventually propel them and others to find the competition. Yes indeed! This is quite often the “after-sales” scenario when, after a successful sale some customers return, not for more, but because of a complaint about the product or service just sold to them. They genuinely want you to take care of a situation that causes concern; and many are really angry and seek an immediate resolution.
Remember: It is not personal
Do your best to stay calm, but never tell your customer to calm down. Do not take the customer’s anger, uncomfortable as it may be for you, as a personal attack. Remember: You are the professional here. This is also easier when you consider that you just happened to be the one helping that customer at that particular time. So, follow these suggestions:
1. Get the facts and apologize sincerely
2. Record the problem
3.Say what you will do to resolve the issue
4. If you can offer an immediate solution, do so. If not, promise to get back with the customer. Name a date and keep that promise faithfully.
Lorri Freifeld, Editor-in-Chief of Training magazine has penned an in-depth article on How to handle customer complaints. It is worthy of your time.