Are all of your customers perfect? Anyone? Bueller?
Of course, customers are not perfect. Neither are we, but let’s focus this Tip on what they do wrong and what we can do about it in a professional, positive, and productive manner:
- When the customer isn’t clear, you respond: Is it OK if I ask you a couple of quick questions just to make sure I understand the situation?
- When the customer doesn’t complete the form, you respond: To make sure we get this moving for you, I just wanted to get some additional information.
- When the customer calls the wrong number, you respond: Since I’m not the best one to address that for you, let me get you in touch with the person who can help you.
- When the customer goes to the wrong location, you respond: I’ll be happy to show you the best way to get to where you need to be.
- When the customer leaves out some facts in a situation, you respond: Just to make sure I’m clear, I’m going to walk through my understanding of what we just discussed. Where they left out the facts, you ask: Now, what happened at this point?
- When the customer gave you the wrong information, you respond: Unfortunately, I’m not able to pull up that account, but let’s try a different method.
Notice that we are avoiding blame. We are using a lot of phraseology that deals with you, as the employee, gaining clarification or understanding. We are not calling anything an error as much as we are using terms that convey we are making this as complete as possible, or getting the best person to address the need. We are identifying what the issue is without noting who caused the issue. We are often talking about why we are asking the question or talking about a particular topic.
When addressing the customer’s error, be professional, positive, and productive.