There are lots of things that can define an outstanding customer service experience. One of those, believe it or not, is the way problems are handled. No matter how smooth your business runs, there will be exceptions, mistakes, and other issues along the way. How can you turn these unknown inevitables into outstanding customer service experiences?
After you’ve been in business for awhile, you will be able to anticipate at least some of them and can prepare to handle them when they come up. For example, if you ship physical goods, you know that sometimes things can get damaged or broken in shipping in sprite of best packing efforts.
Have a process in place that makes this situation easy for the customer. For example have a process where you issue a call tag to have the item picked up and then replace it so the customer does not have to go to any trouble. Or offer them other choices if that’s possible.
To take one from our files, we sell a certain pressure cooker online. This cooker has heat resistant plastic composite handles that are susceptible to breaking off during the shipping process. Seeing this susceptibility and knowing that it happens occasionally, I asked the manufacturer to send us extra handles (they’re easily replaceable).
Last week a customer called to say he loved the pressure cooker but a handle was broken off. I told him we could arrange a replacement for the unit or I could just send him a replacement handle. He was delighted with this second choice (not everyone would be) and he called again yesterday to thank us and tell us that they’ll be using the cooker for their holiday meals.
How problems are handled can be defining moments in your customer relationships. Handle them with the same positive ‘can do’ attitude that you would use for a sale and you will likely have a loyal repeat customer. Even better, they’ll tell their friends!