An upset customer has your ear, and now he expects you to respond. What you say (or write) will make or break the experience. Do you know what to do?
It doesn’t matter your role in the customer experience. Whether you field calls and emails, market the products, make sales, deliver items, bill accounts or answer the door … you will likely hear from angry customers.
What you say next is vital because when customers are asked to rate their experiences, 70% of their opinion is based on how they feel they’re being treated, a McKinsey survey found.
Listen, then say …
The first step when dealing with an upset or angry customer: listen.
Let him vent. Take in — or better, take notes on — the facts.
Then acknowledge emotions, the situation or something that’s clearly important to the customer.
Any of these phrases — spoken or written — can help:
- I’m sorry for this trouble.
- Please tell me more about …
- I can understand why you’d be upset.
- This is important — to both you and me.
- Let me see if I have this right.
- Let’s work together to find a solution.
- Here’s what I’m going to do for you.
- What can we do to resolve this now?
- I want to take care of this for you immediately.
- Do you think this solution would work for you?
- What I’ll do right now is … Then I can …
- As an immediate solution, I’d like to suggest …
- You’ve come to the right place to get this resolved.
- What would you consider a fair and reasonable solution?
- OK, let’s get you in better shape.
- I’m more than happy to help you with this.
- If I can’t take care of this, I know who can.
- I hear what you’re saying, and I know how to help.
- You have a right to be upset.
- Sometimes we fail, and this time I’m here and ready to help.
- If I were in your shoes, I’d feel the same way.
- You’re right, and we need to do something about this immediately.
- Thank you … (for bringing this to my attention, being straight with me, for your patience with us, your loyalty to us even when things go wrong or your continued business).