Treat Customers … as your only customer!

Customer Problem ResolvedIf you are in business or work for one, you more than likely have more than one customer or client. When we analyze or evaluate our customer satisfaction levels, we may accept the larger or macro statistical results.

For example, if you have 200 customers or clients and 2 complaints or unsatisfactory ratings, it represents only 0.01 percent. On the surface that looks great. But to those two customers, they represent 100 percent, but when you are dealing with either one of them, they represent 100 percent and rightly so.

In the normal course of business planning, marketing and operations, it’s usually fine to think of customers collectively. But there are situations when it’s better to think and behave as if you have only one.

The only customer philosophy also works well if the same issue affects many customers.

Now, when we have an issue that affects a significant number of customers, it best to remember that each customer is only aware of or cares about their own situation and therefore represents the “100 percent” or only customer philosophy. So, my recommendation is to determine the best way to help each customer.

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Try to avoid using the word or phrase, “I or we can’t do that.”

2. If you can help someone or resolve their issue, skip directly to the solution with a phrase or remark such as “Sure I can do that!” or “I’d be delighted to do that for you.”

3. “Let me see what I can do for you.” Also, ask the customer or client if it is more convenient for them to hold or for you to call back at a specific time.

4. In the event that you can’t accommodate the customer’s request, offer  alternatives, such as: If I am unable to accommodate [the specific request] there are two alternatives… hopefully one will be satisfactory to resolve the issue.

These techniques will not resolve every issue, but the odds are exponentially higher than either “no” or “I can’t.” In the final analysis customer service is about empathetic communication with our customers and clients.

Related Articles:   Customer Retention Is King   and   customer service … Be Careful What You Cut!

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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