Customer Experience News & Trends

What to say when a turtle dies – and in other odd service situations

One wrong word to a customer, and an agent can damage the relationship forever. Here’s a story to prove that – and ways to avoid it.

An upset child handed his dead turtle to a frontline employee at a pet store, who supposedly had been trained in good service.

The employee saw the problem and told the boy and his parents: “Yes, you killed the turtle. Here’s what we can do now …” The family complained to the owner.

What was wrong: He should’ve tried to fix the kid’s feelings before the problem. After all, something important to him died.

Take these 3 steps to fix the person, then the problem

  1. Let upset customers spill their emotions.
  2. Acknowledge the emotions. Examples: “I can see why this upsets you.” “You’ve had quite an ordeal.”
  3. Ask if they’d like to add anything before working on a solution.

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