Ten customer service secrets to win back customers.I recently facilitated a customer service program and broke for lunch. Knowing that the restaurants in the area left much to desire as far as service, 1 gave the students an extra 15 minutes for lunch. Sure enough, a group of four students came rushing into the classroom with their lunches in hand. They apologized and quickly explained that they received poor service at a restaurant. They explained that after the waiter initially look their order, they waited 45 minutes before their food finally arrived. During the wait, no one came to check on them.
By the time their food arrived, it was time for the group to return to class. They were not happy, so they asked to speak with the restaurant manager. The manager approached and asked, "What is the problem?" One of the students explained the situation, to which the restaurant manager replied, "The food ticket only shows you were waiting for eleven minutes Eleven Minutes (Onze Minutos) is a 2003 novel by Paulo Coelho based around a young prostitute named Maria. Plot introduction
Maria, from the interior of Brazil, goes to seek her fortune in Switzerland, only to find that reality is harsher than she ." The students were still not satisfied and said as much to the manager. She asked them, "Would you like dessert?" My students re-emphasized their dissatisfaction. Each time my students expressed their unhappiness, the manager would say she was sorry. But my students weren't were·n't
Contraction of were not.
weren't were not buying it.
The manager then left without explaining where and what she was doing. The manager returned and told my students that their meals were free. Even though they received free meals, my students vowed never to go back to that restaurant.
Why weren't these customers happy? The restaurant had an opportunity to turn a difficult customer service experience into a winning situation and squandered squan·der
tr.v. squan·dered, squan·der·ing, squan·ders
1. To spend wastefully or extravagantly; dissipate. See Synonyms at waste.
2. it. Not only will these patrons never go back to any restaurant in that chain, but they will tell others about their unhappy experience. The unhappy customer, on average, will tell 21 other people about their experience. With the use of the Internet Internet
Publicly accessible computer network connecting many smaller networks from around the world. It grew out of a U.S. Defense Department program called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), established in 1969 with connections between computers at the , that number can increase to thousands, if not millions, with the click of a button.
Contraction of let us. take a look at 10 secrets that will not only win back customers in any situation, but have them referring new customers who will add more money to your bottom-line bot·tom-line
1. Concerned exclusively with costs and profits: bottom-line issues.
2. Ruthlessly realistic; pragmatic: a bottom-line political strategy. revenue.
1. Smile. Nothing can turn a hostile situation into a positive moment faster than a sincere smile that says, "I want to help you." It communicates that you are positive about the interaction with the customer and enhances the communication process, enabling you to find a solution faster.
2. Introduce yourself as the solution Creator. Be sure to introduce yourself, find out the customer's name, and let the customer know your position and why you are there. This lets him know you are taking responsibility for finding a solution. You might say something like: "Hello, my name is Mike. I am the manager at this location. I am here to assist you in this situation, please tell me about it."
Notice I didn't did·n't
Contraction of did not.
didn't did not
didn't do say, "What's the problem?" By using "What's the problem?," you start the customer service situation in a negative note. By starting the conversation with "I am here to assist you," you are setting up a verbal agreement in the customer's mind to move to a solution.
3. Listen. The customer wants to tell his side of the story and feel like his side is not only heard, but that you listened. Mentally take a step back and dedicate ded·i·cate
tr.v. ded·i·cat·ed, ded·i·cat·ing, ded·i·cates
1. To set apart for a deity or for religious purposes; consecrate.
2. yourself to actively listening to the customer's story with an open mind, so you can find a solution.
Be active in your listening and create empathy empathy
Ability to imagine oneself in another's place and understand the other's feelings, desires, ideas, and actions. The empathic actor or singer is one who genuinely feels the part he or she is performing. ("put yourself in the customer's shoes") with statements such as: "I can appreciate what you're you're
Contraction of you are.
you're you are
you're be saying." "I can understand how you'd you'd
1. Contraction of you had.
2. Contraction of you would.
you'd you had or you would
you'd have ~would feel that way." "It sounds as if we've we've
Contraction of we have.
we've have caused you inconvenience." Stay away from communication that alienates the customer such as: "I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. why you are so upset." "That's the first complaint we ever got on that."
4. Be sorry for the right reasons. Be sincere in your concern for the customer and say you are sorry in the correct way. The correct way to say you are sorry is: "I'm sorry that our employee said that to you." "I'm sorry this situation happened to you," Let the customer know exactly why you are sorry.
5. Give your personal assurance. Let the customer know you will personally create a solution for her. It could be as simple as saying, "I'm taking personal responsibility for this."
6. Ask the customer what she wants. One of the fears some managers have when trying to satisfy a customer is that they think the customer wants something out of their reach. Ask the customer, "What would you like me/us to do?" or "What would make this situation right for you?" In most cases, the customer will ask for less than what is expected.
7. Use statements of conviction. Say the following to gain the confidence of the customer: "We're going to do something about that!" "We will make a change right now!"
8. Present a clear plan of action. Make sure the customer knows what you are going to do to correct the situation. Nearly 95% of making things right for the customer involves making him aware that you are taking action to make a difference. Explain the actions and timelines This article or section contains self-references.
For other uses of "Timeline", see Timeline (disambiguation).
The following is an index of timelines found on Wikipedia. you need to make things right.
9. Move quickly to the solution. If you applied steps 1-8, you are ready to give the customer the solution for a win-win situation. You can confirm this by saying, "Will this make things right for you?"
10. Ask for the business. If you did everything right, this is the perfect time to ask the customer to come back and do business with your organization. You showed that you were professional, caring, sincere, positive and proactive. You can end the discussion with: "We would appreciate the opportunity to serve you again in the future."
It's important that you let the customer know that you appreciate his business and want him to come back. Remember, if you did everything right, not only will he come back, but he will tell other people to do business with you. Use challenging customer service situations to win back your customers and build your business.
Ed Sykes is a professional speaker published in the areas of leadership, change management, customer service and teamwork (product, software, tool) Teamwork - A SASD tool from Sterling Software, formerly CADRE Technologies, which supports the Shlaer/Mellor Object-Oriented method and the Yourdon-DeMarco, Hatley-Pirbhai, Constantine and Buhr notations. . Visit his Web site at www.thcsykesgrp.com.
By Ed Sykes, Consultant