(This post was formerly titled, “Five Steps To Take When Dealing With An Angry Customer.” See the comments below to unsderstand why I’ve retitled it. My “customers” are right.)
If you’re the owner or manager of a small business, you don’t have time to create your own customer service training programs. What you want is something relevant and easy to use that doesn’t take a lot of time.
Customerservicezone.com may be just what you need. It has hundreds of articles related to customer service that are relevant for busy owner/managers.
One of their articles recommends five steps to take when dealing with an angry customer. Here’s how I would use the article.
First, read it and see if you agree with all or most of it. Is there anything you can add from your own experience? Next print it out and allocate at least 20 minutes to discuss it with your employees at your next staff meeting. Consider sending it to them first and asking them how it applies to your business. Their role: Come up with a similiar, if not the same, steps.
For example, I would modify the steps to include T. Scott Gross’s question, “What can we do to make this right with you.?”
Once your team has agreed on how to make this process fit your business, post the steps in employe areas. Make up some small wallet sized cards people can carry with them.
Now, here’s the part they’re not going to like. During slack periods, have them pair off and role play situations. It’s important to remember that dealing with difficult customers is a skill, and skills require repetition in order to be acquired. To encourage this, consider creating a contest of some sort. Give them a week or so, then at a meeting give rewards to the pair that practiced the most and another award to the team with the smoothest delivery. Let their peers vote on the latter.
Discussing customer service at your staff meetings like this reminds your employees that it’s a topic that is very important to you and to your business. It helps build that importance into your culture. Giving them a voice in how the customer service policies and processes are created helps give them buy-in and creates a source of good ideas for you.