None of us are perfect. Neither is any business. The good news is most customers don’t expect the people they do business with to be perfect. But as customers we do expect businesses to fix things when they go wrong. One of my favorite coffee places provides a current example. It was a beautiful late summer morning. A Friday morning. I had time to swing by Caribou Coffee for a decaf and a breakfast sandwich. The young lady who helped me was very pleasant. She seemed to to enjoy her work and she did a good job engaging with me [...]
Earlier this year I had a lengthy interaction with my mobile phone company. After too many conversations I finally got the best price I could on a new phone. I was pleased! But my pleasure didn’t last long. Because there was one, tiny little problem. My new phone sucked. Sorry for the course language but I like to be clear. And that is as clear as I can be about that phone (the Samsung Highlight). Since this blog post is not a product review I won’t go into the details. But, understand, I hated that phone. The problem was (or [...]
Think about how we often describe our customers. We might label them as difficult, angry, rude, uninformed, arrogant, etc. (Sometimes we use terms like friendly, warm, engaging and so on.) On one level this seems useful. It might help us decide how to handle certain customers in specific situations. But labels can also cause problems. Labels can get in the way of better customer service. When we label people we tend to focus on the label. We see the customer through that filter. Everything they do or say gets colored by the label we attach to them. Yet to give [...]
I admit I’m rather a demanding consumer. I’m pretty sure I get it from my mom. She’s one of the world’s all time greatest when it comes to being a demanding customer. And I think it’s good there are people like us around. No one else can offer businesses the quality of advice that their demanding customers can. They should thank us. But most companies either ignore or barely tolerate demanding customers. They fail to train their employees how to deal with us. Often their goal seems to be just to pacify us and get us to shut up rather [...]
Angry customers can seem like our worst nightmare. But, if you handle them right, they can be your company’s best friend. Because when you do listen to angry customers, you get a lot in return. Complaining customers often have valuable information about how you can improve your business. And, when you listen sincerely, you make it more likely they will stay with you. Here are five things you can do to convert angry customers into valuable partners who will help you improve and promote your business. 1. Listen sincerely This is where you win or lose with an angry customer. [...]
Recently I submitted a help ticket to a company about a problem with their product. It was not a critical issue but one that needed fixing. After reviewing the issue they marked it as “resolved”. But they never told me it was resolved. And they didn’t tell me how to apply the fix. So, from where I stood, the problem was not resolved. Not even close. The problem was, they focused solely on fixing the problem. They forgot about communicating with their customer. Sure, they fixed the problem. But they never told anyone it was fixed or how to apply [...]
In the business of customer service training and improvement, we talk about being honest and open with our customers. This is important. It builds trust and improves communications with our customers.
But sometimes people take honesty too far. Sometimes it does more harm than good. Recently, Paul Simon (one of my readers) shared some glaring examples of this…
Every now and then you’ll have a customer who disagrees with one of your policies. No matter what the policy is, don’t justify or defend it from your company’s point of view.
For example, maybe your service department has a fee for inspecting the products you sell. And unless it’s covered by warranty, the customer has to pay the inspection fee. If the customer balks at the fee, don’t justify the fee by saying…
“Every employee who deals with clients must have the authority to handle complaints.” -Carl Sewell Author of: Customers For Life: How To Turn That One-Time Buyer Into a Lifetime Customer