Tag: Complaint Handling

You Have to Acknowledge a Customer’s Anger. Here’s Why.

A common mistake I hear customer service professionals make when I perform quality checks is ignoring the customer’s expression of anger.

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There is something known as the communication chain. When people communicate, they expect the person they are communicating with to respond or react…this response is a link in the communication chain. A failure to respond to communication leaves the communication chain broken.

For example, If I open a customer service training with “Good morning!”…and the audience is dead silent, they’ve broken the communication chain. And that leaves me feeling awkward, perhaps embarrassed. I’d have the uncomfortable feeling that the workshop would not go well, based on the lack of acknowledgement.

If a customer expresses anger and we fail to respond to it, the communication chain is broken and the customer feels like they are not getting through. The customer might become even angrier and more difficult, as they are resorting to whatever it takes to feel heard and understood.

Customer Recovery Strategy: Predetermine solutions to all top problems

When I partner with a company that wants to build loyal relationships with their customers, I absolutely insist that they predetermine recovery strategies for top complaints. This single exercise positions frontline professionals to quickly determine […]

My Client Gave Me 3 Levels of WOW Customer Service!

Last Friday I had the great pleasure of delivering 2 half-day workshops to a wonderful new client, Silverstein Properties. Silverstein Properties is a full-service real estate development, investment, and management firm based in New York. […]

How a Complaint and a $14 Earpiece Improved My Customer Experience

My business was founded to help companies completely restore customer confidence and regain goodwill after service failures occur. I tell my clients all the time that a complaint is a gift. A complaint is a […]

How to Lose a Customer (and your business) Over 8 Dimes

One of the top reasons customers state for leaving a company is a problem was mishandled.  Frontline employees need to be trained to respond to problems with a sense of urgency and to do everything […]

Diagnose a Customer’s Problem BEFORE You Prescribe a Solution

It’s frustrating when companies don’t listen Today I took one of my laptops into a computer repair shop for troubleshooting and repair. I explained to the Front Desk representative that my laptop would not save […]

Sorry Works! The Bottom-line Benefit of Apologizing to Customers

Confident Mature Businesswoman At The Office

One of the easiest and quickest ways to diffuse anger, create rapport, and regain goodwill with unhappy customers is to apologize. Offering an apology to a customer who experiences a problem should be a natural response from customer service providers. Yet, recent research reveals the startling fact that 50 percent of customers who voice a complaint never receive an apology from the organization.

Not only does an apology provide “soft” benefits such as creating calm, shaving minutes off of talk time, reducing stress on the employee, etc., but it can also translate into significant and measurable savings in decreasing lawsuits, settlement costs, and defense costs.

Doctors and hospitals are beginning to discover what savvy customer service professionals have always known: sorry works. A new program for doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators called Sorry Works encourages doctors and hospitals to apologize quickly when mishaps occur and to offer a fair settlement upfront to families and their attorneys. The Sorry Works program has resulted in a dramatic drop in lawsuits. The University of Michigan hospital recently implemented Sorry Works and reports that the number of pending cases has dropped and defense attorney fees decreased from $3 million to $1 million annually. Clearly, sorry does, indeed, work.

Does a 2 million dollar savings based solely on an apology sound too good to be true? Let me walk you through exactly why sorry indeed does work… here are the facts:

The Issue is Not the “Issue.” It’s how the issue is “handled.”

Here’s a “throw-back” customer service training video from our early years. But the point remains relevant today. Most times, the problem the customer experienced isn’t the issue at all. The company’s response to the presented […]

4 Tips for WOWing Customers Who Experience Problems

Seven years ago I had a new oven delivered to my home. The Sears deliveryman quickly pointed out that there was a small dent on the right side of the oven. The dent did not affect […]