Every business thrives on happy customers and it is one of their main business goals to keep their customers happy. ‘Customer is the king’ for every business! Hence satisfied clients are the biggest assets for the company. Handling customer service is not a cake walk. There are many hurdles in handling a customer in a satisfactory way. The main aspect of the job is to handle different people with different perspectives and that is quite massive. More than the job, the people are difficult to handle. The customer service representative interacts with a wide variety of people who are from various backgrounds and different socio-economic statures. There’s a lot of patience, spontaneity and positivity required to handle the different types of customers and issues they deal with on a daily basis.
Here are a few scenarios the customer service people find quite challenging and how they can deal it the best way beneficial to the company:
1. An Angry Customer
Customer service representatives will have to deal with many angry customers regularly. As most of the interactions are through the telephone, you may not know what the customer is into when he/she gets a call. So, most of the times you get a frustrated customer at the other end of the line!
Sometimes the customer might be confusing, frustrated, stuck in some work or traffic or maybe just had a bad day. To handle such customers, it is important that you know and understand that it is neither your fault nor the customer’s! Hence, deal it with a special technique called the ‘H.E.A.R.D’ technique.
H is for Hear – Let your customer say whatever he/she wants to say, you hear it patiently.
E is for empathize – Convey the message that you truly understand the customer's view.
A is for Apologize – Apologizing even if it is not your fault would be an ideal way to make your customer happy. It will calm down the customer to a great extent.
R is for Resolve – Always be open to resolving the issue and empower the staff of the company to help the customer in any way possible. Even asking the customer for their suggestion to resolve a problem would also help to gain their confidence.
D is for Diagnose – Before blaming anyone, make sure you go deep into the problem and analyze the cause and fix it.
Following the above checklist would be an ideal way to deal with angry customers. If the customer is not happy with your service, then it is important to understand what has gone wrong, work on it and fix it so that another customer is not dissatisfied.
2. A Crisis
Business is a volatile market; nothing is predictable in the market. Hence at some point of time, some crisis or outage may come up that might lead you to lose the goodwill you have gained through years of good service. Server outage or even security beaches are quite common and happen to many reputed and well-organized businesses too. It is always important for the firm to maintain a plan on how to deal with such crisis even when dealing with a tough customer.
When it comes to the customer in the time of crisis, you must keep these things in mind:
- Apologize: Even when a crisis is not entirely your fault, keep apologizing. Express that you are extremely sorry for whatever has happened or is happening.
- Communicate: Make sure that you send as many emails as possible, because the customer wants to know what is happening. It is necessary to keep them updated on the status of their issue. The customer would be happier to know that you are constantly working on the crisis and trying to resolve it.
3. Rejecting a Discount Request
When people are out shopping, it is a common scenario to see that people purchase and ask for a discount. Discount is a magical term that brings in people to the shop. At times, it is not feasible for you to give a discount, as you might end up in a loss or undervalue the product. So make the customer understand that, they are being offered a premium product at the best rate. Any discount would make it undervalued which will be a loss you have to bear! You can also engage with them in the friendliest way to make them understand how this particular product is of superior quality than the cheaper ones available in the market, if any.
4. Unable to Meet the Demands of a Customer to Build a Feature
It is not easy to keep up with all the demands of the customer. And moreover, no customer wants to hear a ‘no’ from you. To handle such situation, you need to learn the art of ‘politely saying a no’. Always one must maintain a positive tone and convey the message. You need to convince the customer that if there are any possible ways to include what they have asked, then surely you would be getting it done.
5. Unable to Answer the Question from the Customer!
A good customer service rep always aims to fulfill the demands and will answer all the questions of a customer. Even if you don’t know the answer you must try to find out the answer and ensure that follow-up happens. If case you have no clue about the issue, assure the customer that this is the first time such an issue has come up and request for a reasonable time to resolve the issue. You can also escalate the matter to your senior associate for resolving. Make sure you follow up the matter and get the issue resolved.
6. Response to Backlogs
At times when the customer service is not 24/7, many customers who might have mailed during the off-hours might be waiting for your response. It is important to clear the backlogs as quick as possible as delay in response will make the customers frustrated and dissatisfied. Handling such multiple requests will take time. You must keep in mind that the customer wants a note from you that you have heard the complaint and are still working on it, which will keep them at ease.
7. Wrong Product with the Wrong Customer
Every product you sell might not be completely suited for everyone. In such situations, you cannot meet the demands of the customer. This is a difficult situation to handle and to make them understand that it does not suit their purpose follow these steps:
- Always maintain a positive tone and appreciate the customer to bear with you.
- Assure that it was not customers fault but, the business could not meet their demand.
- Offering a full or even a partial amount refund would keep them happy.
- Apologize and offer alternate ways to keep the customer happy.
In this way, you retain a customer as well as keep up the reputation of your business.
It is common to face a myriad of challenges when you are in customer service. One must be prepared and take up the challenges to keep the customers satisfied.