How To Resolve Customer Problems
When the concept of customer service is mentioned, the first thing we can think of is an unhappy customer who has a problem with a product or a service, where the support guys are trying to help him resolve the problem successfully. After all, it happened to all of us at least once, the situation when we have bought something new that comes with the warranty, but unfortunately it didn’t meet our expectations. The weakest point of every service is solving problems problem for customers.
In this article we will present some practical advices on how to resolve this problem you might experience or you are already experiencing with your customers. These are the recommended steps:
- Define the problem
- Agree on the solution
- Monitor execution
Define the problem
Remember that famous sentence that tells if you perfectly understand the question the answer will emerge by itself. The first and the most important step in solving any problem is to carefully define the problem. The biggest difficulty in defining a problem is the fact that when customers have complaints they are usually already emotionally upset. The emotional tizzy can disable rational communication. One of the basic rules of (conflict) communication is to take the issue of its emotional content.
Say for example that your Internet is not working, and you have a very important business deal that you need to send via email. The problem is not the Internet connection, but the problem is sending this business deal and because of that you are emotionally upset. In communication with the technical support on your mind will primarily be the problem with business deal and most likely you will think only of all the negative consequences of the inability to communicate with your business partner. At this point, you will be blind and deaf for providing rational technical support questions.
Agree on the solution
It is important, after presenting all the possible solutions to a customer, to choose which solution is a result of the agreement, and which is best for everyone. Customer should always be presented with more alternative solutions containing explanations on what each alternative means for him personally. The best outcome is when customer selects the solution that suits him the best. When solution to the problem is a result of mutual agreement, then it is much less likely that this solution could be later raised as a problem. The customer can forget details of the agreement, but he will always remember the consultation process, and that his opinion was respected.
Follow the execution
This is probably the most important step in solving customer problems, and probably the biggest stumbling block. Everyone can easily promise anything, but when it comes to fulfilling those promises then we can hit a dead end. To a lot of people making a promise is basically your guarantee that you will make it true. On the other hand, unfulfilled promises have a much worse effect on a customer than the problem he experienced with the product or service. Instead of making him to be a loyal customer with quality service (usually post-sales service), failing to complete the promises will definitely transform him into a very disgruntled customer.
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