Dresser & Associates

Are they really a Difficult Customer?

A few weeks ago our mail server went down. After we brought it back the email address was filled with spam. While we were sorting out the spam we received an email from one of our customers. Her email got lost in the spam and we missed it. About a week later we got a message from the customer stating that it was unacceptable to go a week without a response. The message was a bit “short”, and it sounded like she was upset.

As soon as we realized we had let her down, we got right to resolving her issue and gave her some free service to make up for our mistake.

After I explained how the lack of an answer happened, she was very gracious; after we got her issue resolved she was very happy with our service.

We learned a valuable lesson about customers. They may seem difficult at times, but these are really laps in communication. With emails, there is no way to express emotion. What may seem like only a direct tone to the writer may be perceived as something more negative to the reader.

As with telephone conversions, when providing a service to the customer, we need not judge the customer, but listen to their complaint and get to what they really need.

This approach will bring the most “difficult” customer around to your side and lead them to a positive experience. The kind of experience that will bring them back again and again.

Situations that produce difficult customers happen because something has failed and the customer been inconvenienced. The customer arrives at our door or phone with a negative frame of mind. It’s what happens next that determines if they deal with us again or goes off to tell others about the experience they have had.

The trick is not just to fix the issues, but to let the customer know that you care about them and that you take responsibility for the mistake. Not every situation can be fixed, but it is how you tell the customer that you cannot fix it that is important.

Contributed by:

CAASPRE Consulting, LLC

Posted in Human Resources | Comments Off on Are they really a Difficult Customer?

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