2 answers

[closed] How can someone deal with customer criticism?

Asked Leander, Texas

Hello,

I am a current business major with an interest in administration and a major of management. My passion for management drives me to happily learn more information and seek new ways of tackling problems to come up with solutions. I believe that one aspcet of innovation in management is knowing how to converse with others during an argument. Other than agreeing to the right of the customer to have his or her own perception, what are some other ways to deal with unfair criticism? For example, I might to take the blame of someone else's mistake in a business simply beacuse I am a representative of the business.

Thank you. #business #communications #office-management #administration #communication #customer-service

2 answers

Donald’s Answer

Updated Paoli, Pennsylvania

At one point in my career, I was on a corporate customer service desk. I acted on behalf of the VP of customer service ( a position I would later hold). If you, as a customer, had a problem significant enough to end up on my line, there was no one else to give it to. Employees would also throw things up the ladder when they felt they could not handle the problem. The first thing to know when dealing with a frustrated person (customer or employee) that they are not directing their emotions at you. The next thing to do is listen - accurately and respond with empathy. To be sure you understood; paraphrase what you heard them say and repeat it back to them for confirmation. Once you reach an understanding, ask them what they think the company should do? If it is reasonable, make it happen. If not, negotiate but keep in mind, for every problem that goes unsolved, a customer will tell many people. I used to tell my customer contact people, "there is no rule, policy or procedure that takes the place of good common sense. Do what's right for the customer and the company and we'll sort the details out later". One other thing, some people cannot be satisfied......I've fired a few customers over the years too......the amazing thing to me was when I did, they knew they had pushed too hard and expected that someone would draw the line.

Good luck

Kim’s Answer

Updated California, California

Hello, It's great you are preparing to have the right customer mindset! I agree with the feedback already provided - listening and empathy are keys to diffusing a difficult situation. I, too, work in a role which is the last resort for customers in our company. Doing the right thing for the customer in our culture is always supported by our leadership. Often if a customer just feels someone is truly listening to them, understands their problem, and takes ownership they will calm down. That sense of ownership is key. By the time they are frustrated enough to reach that level of escalation, it is often because others have not taken the responsibility or assumed the "it's not my job" position and passed the problem down the line. Let the customer know you will stay in contact with them until the problem is resolved and then make sure it is resolved. If you make a commitment, keep it and hold others accountable for keeping theirs. While a customer is ranting, stay focused on the outcome and try to keep them moving in that direction. "I can hear you are frustrated by this experience, but my job is to make this right for you." Be confident in knowing you will be able to help them through this situation and that will keep you both moving in the right direction.

Good luck! Great customer service is hard to find these days so I'm glad to see someone thinking along these lines so early in career.

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