When making the decision to become a small business owner there’s a good chance that at some point in your career you’re going to come across a customer or two that might have had an issue with the service that your business provided. Now, knowing that I have a lot of young entrepreneurs and newbie small business owners that read my blog I wanted to post this as a way to get conversation rolling. I would imagine that the more conversation that occurs between veteran business owners and newbie business owners the better off everyone will be, or at least customer service concerns might get handled faster. 😉
It’s safe to say that you’re going to need to have tools that you can use in order to address and resolve those customer concerns in the fastest possible manor. Your business relies on it.
6 Step Customer Conflict Resolution Process
1. Respond FAST
No matter what you do make sure that you always have a prompt, lightning fast response. Yes, even if you don’t have a resolution or an answer to the situation you should still make sure that the customer recieves a call that let’s them know that their concern is being worked on. A stewing, raging, waiting customer is NEVER a happy one.
2. Shut Up
It’s so easy in business, especially as a young manager or newbie small business owner to wanna jump right in and start running your mouth. This sounds nice, but it won’t solve the problem, sit back and shut up and remember that the customer is the one that has a problem with your business. Jumping in before you hear your customer out will only frustrate your customer and it can cause you to miss important details.
3. Professional Reply
Assuming that you actively listened (based on step 2 above) it’s now time for you make it very clear to the customer that you understand their problem, 100% of it. Take the time to repeat back to the customer what they said to you and be sure to focus on the key points to ensure that the customer is comfortable with exactly how much you understand their concern.
4. Resolve the issue
Now that you’ve listened to the customer and displayed good active listening skills it’s time for you to get down to solving the problem, this is the big moment. Once the screaming and yelling stops it’s time to focus on the problem and get it resolved, no matter what it takes. Overdue it.
5. Follow Up
Once the issue has been resolved it’s always a good practice to follow up with the customer to ensure that things are still moving in the right direction.
Complete your customer resolution process by taking the time ti train fellow staff members and associates, doing so will help avoid the same issues in the future.
*** Bonus ***
Without even remembering all of the above, just remember that not only is the customer always right, but if you’re the business owner and the customer has conflict, you ARE ALWAYS WRONG.
It’s important to handle every customer service issues as an experience and learn from it, it gives you a chance to improve your skills as a leader and business owner and helps you to mentor others.
Leave a comment and share a tip that’s been successful to you in resolving customer concerns in the past.