irate customer | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 5

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence - 4/16/24


When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help Read more

The Proven Value in What You Do - 4/9/24


Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023. In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value Read more

A Tale of Two Texts - 4/2/24


Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration. She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, Read more

The Secret Sauce for Great Customer Service - 3/26/24


I was working with the League Office for a major American sport several years back, and one of the executives asked me to describe our Secret Sauce that helped our clients improve the fan experience and customer retention.  I gave him a sense of what makes us unique and Read more

The Miracle of an Apology - 3/19/24


Unfortunate but true story… The manager basically lost his mind.  He terminated his employee on the spot.  She had told the customer that there was going to be a delay in the shipment.  The employee called up the customer ahead of time to let the customer know what was about Read more

It’s Not About the 5-Minute Wait - 3/12/24


Robert went into his supervisor’s office to update her on a situation at the payment desk.  Robert said that a customer was about fourth or fifth in line, waiting to be served, and the customer was complaining loudly about the wait.  He was there to make a property tax Read more

Lessons from the Greats - 3/5/24


I was recently facilitating a workshop on the customer experience, and I made the point that it’s usually beneficial to look at your personal life for great experiences; identify what really resonates with you in a positive way in order to uncover ideas to improve your own customer service. So, Read more

The Empathy Roadmap - 2/27/24


For some people, empathy comes naturally.  There’s an innate desire to learn about the other person and to sincerely convey that sense of interest and caring.  But for many of us, sometimes it helps to have a communication plan.  It helps to know what to do in order to Read more

“You’re the Boss” - 2/20/24


Terrence is excellent at what he does.  From a technical standpoint, he knows how to keep the facility clean.  He’s the lead custodian, and he knows that keeping things straight does not necessarily mean keeping things sanitary.  He knows what chemicals to use and not to use, how to Read more

Customer Understanding Leads to Relationship Growth - 2/13/24


We’ve worked with educational organizations at all grade levels over the years.  One special and unique characteristic about the staff who work in these organizations is that there’s a clear intent to know about the students as individuals, to focus on them rather than purely focusing on what’s delivered Read more

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

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

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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They’re a Good Person Having a Bad Day – 5/4/21

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

How can someone have so much anger about something that is so insignificant?  Why is the customer getting all out of sorts for something that is not a big deal?  Why are they getting upset with me when I had absolutely nothing to do with their problem?

Although we want to help these customers and we try to navigate through their specific issues and focus on them and their needs, sometimes we can’t help but ask ourselves these questions.  And when we ask ourselves these questions, it could be because we don’t understand, we’re starting to get wound up and feed into their negative emotion, or there’s something going on with us that’s keeping us from helping them.

Maybe they’re a good person having a bad day.

This statement may be true or very untrue, but handling these situations well requires we handle our own emotions well.  It helps us to have a bit of empathy with them so we can remain a little detached from the emotional nature of the conversation.  Sometimes a key to handling these situations effectively is handling ourselves effectively.

Maybe they’re a good person having a bad day.

If we pose these questions of “Why is the customer overreacting?”, sometimes those “Why’s” just feed on each other in an unproductive way.  We need to find a way to answer the Why for ourselves, even if it may not be the ultimate correct answer.  We need to find a way to answer it such that it helps us maintain our composure.  It helps us to stay calm.  It helps us to focus on the facts instead of getting burned by the friction.

Maybe they’re a good person having a bad day.

Try telling yourself this, as it helps me to avoid taking things so personally, to be a bit more understanding, and to maintain my composure.

It helps to assume that the angry customer is a good person having a bad day.

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Challenges Create Opportunity, People Create Change – 4/20/21

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

There are so many great things that have been said over the years about overcoming challenges, pushing aside the roadblocks of life, dealing with difficulties.  And these are important points of discussion because challenges are all around us.  There are challenges with our personal health or in our personal lives.  We could have the challenges of dealing with mean or angry individuals at work.  It could be the challenge of trying to support a customer but not getting the support of your co-worker.  The challenges could be inconsistent communications or ineffective systems and processes.  Maybe our challenge is due to our own personal burdens or biases or lack of professional development.

We have these challenges, but to overcome them or push them aside or deal with them, people have to take some action:

  • You’re dealing with essentially the same complaints from customers in your office every day. What can you do to reduce the number of those complaints that you have to deal with each day?
  • You’ve been given bad directions to a customer’s home 4 times this week – it wasted your time! What can you do to make sure it doesn’t happen 4 times next week?
  • You deal with an issue where you’re just not comfortable or confident. What can you do to become more comfortable and more confident?
  • The system is not intuitive for you. It takes you much longer to accomplish your work than it should.  What can you do to become more proficient?
  • The frustration of that angry customer gets to you. You get flustered and you get defensive, and the next thing you know you’re in a 10-minute conversation that never seems to go anywhere.  What can you do to manage your own emotions better?

We’re always going to have challenges.  We are human, and the people we work with are human, as well.  The systems that we work with are FAR from perfect, too!

Identify 1 or 2 of the challenges that cause you heartburn.  Then determine 1 or 2 actions you can take so that these situations happen less frequently or you’re more effective at dealing with them in the future.

Challenges create opportunity.  Be one of the people that creates change.

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