Past Transcripts & Summaries

Transcript for Jan. 11, 2011

When Is The Customer Wrong? How to deal with it?

Topic proposed by @TCoughlin :: Transcript provided by @KarenLocker

Tonight’s lighting fast tweetchat was about when the customer is wrong and how do companies deal with it.

One of the issues discussed was is the customer wrong?  Many good points were brought up was it a matter of to high expectation on the customers part, or was the company promises too high and unable to deliver.

A general consensus was that 95% of the time the situation can be turned around by clear communication, and putting oneself in the customers shoes. Those 95% of the customers can go from being your harshest critic to your most ardent supporter.  If they feel they have been listened to and have the respect of the person they are talking with.  The other 5% of the time you will know right away that the situation is not something that can be turned around and that the customer will be unable to be satisfied.   In those 5% of the cases it is ok to fire the customer or tell them that they my need to find services elsewhere.

Most everyone agreed that swearing and personal attacks would not be tolerated. Companies need to provide service but should not be a doormat for angry customers.  Have clear boundaries when dealing with the frustrated and angry customer.

Another point brought up is in the age of social media one vocal critic can be amplified by many.

Companies should view customers they feel are wrong as an opportunity to improve their customer service, even “wrong” customers could have a very valid point.
Learning to having empathy in the face of unreasonableness is customer service, and finally treat you customers like they are your largest as some day they may well be. Always be fair, firm and friendly and don’t forget to smile because Goodwill is priceless.

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