irate customer | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

A Story of Willie and Aubrey - 2/8/22


The gift shop was a great experience!  Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself.  However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to Read more

It Matters Who You Know - 2/1/22


The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it. The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help. The husband discovers a problem in the Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings - 1/25/22


If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations - 1/18/22


As we continue the slow trend of more and more customer interactions becoming in-person again, we need to remember those signs that we’re about to enter one of THOSE conversations.  It can typically take only 5-10 seconds to realize this is going to be a high-risk situation with the Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse - 1/11/22


We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer! And when we review their questions and start to see Read more

Foster Positive Feelings - 1/4/22


I bet a lot of you all are like me - when you’re asked to share your feelings, it’s not always something that feels comfortable.  It obviously depends on the situation and who’s asking you to share your feelings.  So, many of us might hesitate in sharing our feelings. However, Read more

How to Make the Situation Right - 12/28/21


The manager in the field office felt that - when problems arose with customers - the company didn’t do an especially good job of responding effectively.  He felt like this was hurting customer renewals of annual service agreements.  The company developed many customer service and retention initiatives with little Read more

2021 Holiday Poem - 12/21/21


Breathe and rest and relax and rejuvenate. Close the eyes, and fill the lungs. Take a break, and be with friends. This is a time to begin. Renaissance is called a rebirth. Birth can bring new life. Life gives opportunity for living. Living gives opportunity for joy. We have so many outside factors, So many things that tug Read more

“I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean “I’m Guilty” - 12/14/21


Individuals and organizations mess up; that’s part of life… They told me that they were going to be at my home at a certain time; they were REALLY late.  The customer service representative said they would get a message to a co-worker, and the co-worker would call me back; I Read more

Apply Selfless Service - 12/7/21


Andrea had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented, regardless of the position.  After making that decision, they added some creative questions to the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Andrea had to Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings – 1/25/22

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star ratings.  And it’s not just vehicle service centers; we’re inundated with requests for ratings in many aspects of our lives.

Granted, most 1-Star ratings are probably because the customer did not get their needs met, their question answered, or they had a bad experience.  I’m sure many low ratings are legitimate, while many others are not truly worthy of only 1-Star. But wouldn’t it be great if we could avoid getting 1-Star ratings in the first place?!

Uncover Potential Low Ratings before They Leave

Remember that most customers who have an issue with the company will not complain to the company.  So, if you’re talking to that customer or sending them an e-mail or engaging them in an online chat (or even meeting them face-to-face), if you want to get a sense for whether you’re going to get that 1-Star rating, ask for feedback before the end:

  • Did you get your needs met?
  • Did you get your questions answered?
  • Do you have any questions or concerns before you leave?
  • Did you have a good experience today?

 
If you ask the question before you end the conversation, great things can happen.  If there is an issue, they may give you a chance to resolve it.  If you resolve it, you have a better chance to keep the customer, and you have a chance to raise the 1-Star to 2, 3, or 4.

And you get one more perk.  It’s likely that most of your customers are satisfied with their experience.  Therefore, the more you ask for feedback, the more accolades, pats on the back, smiles, and “thank yous” you’ll get!

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings; in the moment, ask for and act on feedback.

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It’s Not You, It’s Them – 7/13/21

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

George Costanza – from the Seinfeld television sitcom – broke up with someone he was dating and told her “It’s not you, it’s me.”  It’s a famous line, and I’ve heard it used many times in humor, but I have a customer service twist on that comedic line.

It’s not you, it’s them.

If you’ve worked in a customer service role long enough, and by long enough I mean even just 3-6 months, you have probably dealt with the same complaint but in two totally different situations.  You could have Fred the customer walk into a store or call you on the phone, and there is a problem with his account.  He calmly describes the issue, and you deliver great service and work with him on a solution.

At some other point in time, Matt is the one who walks in; he’s the one who gets you on the phone.  Unfortunately, he has the exact same complaint about his account.  But instead of calmly describing the issue and working with you, he is ranting and raving!  He is blaming everyone under the stars, particularly you.  His tone is inflamed, and before you can even try to help him, you have to figure out how to calm him down and get the information you need to provide the support.

These are two different customers presenting the exact same issue.  One comes in calm, looking for resolution, and the other comes in like a raving lunatic.

Their negative emotion is not about you; it’s about them.  Even if the negative emotion is directed at you, it is about them.  Even if some of the pointed words are toward you, it is about them.

I’m not saying that the highly emotional complaining customers don’t have a right to complain.  Sure they do.  I’m not saying that the company is absolved of any responsibility for issues they cause.  Of course the company is responsible.

But what I am saying is that it’s much easier for us to handle these situations if we can handle our emotions…if we don’t get defensive…if we don’t take things so personally.  And one way we can do that is to realize that we have had customers with the same issue before who have been calm, have been rational, who have looked to work with us to a resolution.

And if we realize we have been blessed with these collaborative customers, then we can also realize that if somebody comes in with the same issue in a totally off-the-wall manner, their emotion is not our fault.

We should try to do whatever we can to help them and move the conversation forward and resolve the issue, and one of the best ways we can do that is to realize that the emotion is not about us.  It’s about them.

It’s Not You, It’s Them.

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Respond to Negativity in Kind, or Respond Kindly – 6/1/21

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An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.  It seems like that’s what makes the world go ‘round nowadays.  You yell at me, and I yell at you.  Then you yell louder, and I yell louder.  And all that cacophony just pushes us further and further apart.

In customer service, we’re not looking for opportunities to push the other person away.  We’re looking for opportunities to work with our co-worker, to work with our customer.

Sometimes through no fault of our own, these conversations or interactions start with the other person being negative, or they are being vocal – and not in a pleasant way.  They’re griping and complaining and quickly firing criticisms our way.

And it’s easy for us to get defensive, to get our back up, and to respond in kind.  We raise our voice.  We criticize them.  We get into a debate on the minutiae, or we loudly share our valid points.  No matter what we do, though, if we do it in a way that is reciprocating that anger or negativity, that is not bringing us closer together or moving us forward.  It is pushing us away from each other, and it is hard to get to a resolution together if we are far apart.

Instead, try kindness.  Try dealing with that loud voice with a softer voice.  Try dealing with that complaint with some statement of your intent to figure out what CAN be done.  Try being extra courteous and polite, using their name, saying thank you, and conveying a little bit more caring and compassion.

We can dull the edge of their anger, not by responding to negativity in kind, but by responding kindly.

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