Mistakes are something that can't always be avoided. No matter how careful you are and how much of a conscious effort you make to do everything right in a business, there are times when goof-ups occur, which lead to a customer impact. Most customers are rational enough to understand that errors and slip-ups can take place, and are willing to forgive the rare mistake.
As a business owner, what you need to focus on the manner in which you react to actually making a mistake; in many ways, that will also define how your customer reacts to you. Some customers are more apt to retain their anger for a longer time, but most of them will eventually accept an apology too.
When an Apology is All it Takes
The thing we are trying to impress upon your mind is that - it's important you make that apology. It's not uncommon for companies to shrug off responsibility, never own up to making a mistake, and of course, they don't furnish an apology for it either. This is nothing but an express route to losing the loyalty and respect of your customers. Take a look at how a sincere apology will impress your customer and make them stay loyal to your brand.
Listening is very important
When any customer calls in with a complaint, its best that you allow them to vent and have their say. If they have called you, it's obvious that something's gone wrong and they are going to have something to say about it. Before your customer is able to engage in a rational conversation with you, they only want that you listen to what they are saying. This is the time you keep quiet and only focus on understanding what they are trying to tell you.
Once you have understood what the problem is, the first thing to do is to apologise. Regardless of whether it was their fault or yours, sincerely apologise for the trouble caused and tell them you understand their frustration. At this point, you should be very open to accepting responsibility.
Avoid playing the blame game
No matter whether it was the customer's fault or one of your departments that slipped-up, do not play the blame game. Instead, only focus on resolving the issue. Once you have put forth your apology, simply reiterate what you have understood what the customer's complaint is.
Maintain a very positive demeanour and tone
At times, you may be having a face-to-face conversation with the customer, while at others, the interaction may be taking place over the phone. Either way, it's important that you use the right tone, body language as well as spoken language.
Your tone should reflect the sincerity with which you are apologising to the customer. This is even more important when you are communicating with the customer on a call as they have only your voice to go by.
Provide a quick resolution
Address the problem promptly and focus on resolving the issue without delay. While it may not always be possible to provide an immediate resolution for every problem, it's crucial that you get the gears into motion; give the customer a turnaround time frame to resolve the issue.
Follow-up with the customer
This is a vital aspect of the resolution process. Once the issue has been resolved, make it a point to call back the customer to check whether they are happy with the resolution and whether the product or service meet their expectations.
Shine the Spotlight on Customer Service
Customer service is all about focusing on the customers' needs and addressing issues without delay. We at MaxMyProfit are passionate about our job of coaching business owners to explore different ways of expanding and improving their business.
If you want any more information about our services, programs, events and podcasts etc., do visit our website. You can also connect with us via this online form or speak with us at this number - (02) 88085500
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.