Customer Experience News & Trends

Handling customer screw-ups

A customer has made a blunder, and maybe even blamed you for it initially. Now the truth comes out. How do you handle it?

1. Help customers save face. They don’t want to be told they’re wrong. So before you point out where they’re wrong, it’s usually a good idea to tell them about something they did right.

2. Move on quickly. Avoid lingering on the mistake. Customers want to get off the subject quickly. Make a point to try to move on to new business.

3. Use humor when appropriate. It can break the tension, and most people are willing to laugh at themselves a little.

4. Develop an understanding for the problems customers face. Consider how you may be able to help solve some of them. Instead of focusing on blame, try to come up with solutions.

5. Follow up carefully. After you solve a problem, go to your calendar. Pick a time to follow up in a few days to see if the solution is working. Following up will help strengthen your relationship and show the customer that you care about making things right.

Adapted from Talk is Not Cheap, by Beverly Inman-Evil.


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