Problem Customer or Golden Opportunity?

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The customer in front of you or on the other end of the line, has a Problem. Something’s broken that shouldn’t be. Your service isn’t meeting expectations. Delivery didn’t happen as promised. The bill they received isn’t right. One thing for sure – he (she) is NOT happy.

These can be challenging situations, and if not handled right, can quickly turn into something even less pleasant. But rather than let these moments be a source of stress, new research conducted by The Belding Group suggests that we should see them as golden opportunities.

The study, entitled “The Science of Wow”, examined the common elements behind customer service experiences that create both positive and negative world-of-mouth. It turns out that over 70% of positive customer service experiences we share with each other began initially as negative experiences, followed by an employee dealing with it exceptionally well.

So, what does the research tell us we should do when faced with a customer challenge?

1. Take ownership of the situation
Let the customer know that you personally want to make things right.

2. Be empathetic
Even if it’s the 50th customer you’ve talked to this month with the same issue, Let them know that you understand why they are frustrated and that this is important to you. (Note: simply saying “I understand why you’re frustrated” isn’t good enough)

3. Get creative
If you can’t give them exactly what they want, look for alternative solutions that might work. Imagine it was your grandmother or your child faced with a similar situation. Wouldn’t you do everything in your power to find a solution? .

The next time you’re faced with that angry or frustrated customer, remember that this might be your opportunity to create a true “Wow” experience. Let your customer know that, at this moment in time, there is nobody on earth more important to you. Don’t forget that simply fixing the problem isn’t good enough anymore. Your customer needs to feel that you’re fixing things because you really want to, not just because you have to.


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The Belding Group helps companies stand out by providing Outstanding customer service training and customer experience consulting and measurement

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