Training Tuesday: Handling Problems
It doesn’t take long for anyone in the transportation business to realize that occasionally bad things happen to good people. You name it, it can and occasionally will happen.
When customers aren’t happy, whether it’s because a shipment is late, damaged or lost, five things can happen—and four of them are bad:
THE CUSTOMER DOESN’T LET US KNOW THEY WERE UNHAPPY WITH SUNTECKTTS’ SERVICE. NOT GOOD.
THE CUSTOMER CHANGES CARRIERS IN SILENCE. NOT GOOD EITHER.
THE CUSTOMER TELLS HIS OR HER FRIENDS. WORSE.
THE CUSTOMER TALKS TO THIRD PARTIES. WORST OF ALL.
THE FIFTH OPTION IS COMMUNICATION.
The best possible outcome is that your unhappy customer talks to you. This gives you a second chance to understand their needs, identify and correct problems, and convert your dissatisfied customer into a happy customer – one who’ll keep coming back.
Here are the proper procedures to best help your customer.
1.Inform the customer as soon as you can—they’re absolutely going to find out—no news travels more swiftly than bad news.
2.Get to the point quickly by saying something like, “You’re not going to like hearing this”
3.If your customer approaches you with a complaint, don’t interrupt. Don’t become defensive.
4.Take complaints seriously, no matter how trivial the issue may seem to you.
5.Don’t create distance from SunteckTTS by referring to it as “they.” Use “we” instead, and proudly stand behind our service without making excuses.
7.Avoid focusing on fixing the blame; instead focus on fixing the problem.
8.Let your customer suggest alternatives. Every customer has some idea of what they want as a solution to every problem.
9.Do something extra. Correcting the problem isn’t always enough.
10.Trust the customer’s sincerity. It’s better to err by believing too many people than by not believing enough people.
11.Never just say, “I don’t know.” When you don’t know an answer, simply say, “I’ll look into the matter,” and then look into it, soon.
12.Empathize with the customer. If you can’t relate to the complaint itself, at least relate to the process of complaining.
13.If the timing is appropriate, ask for future business—let the customer know this does not represent SunteckTTS’s usual high quality of service.
14.Follow-up. Make sure the customer is truly satisfied.
15.Don’t let it affect your interaction with the next customer. And most importantly: Most customers will accept occasional mistakes. How you deal with the problem and how you resolve it is what will distinguish you as a real professional.
16.Always remember that listening to your customer is the best way to help in an uncomfortable situation. Some people want to be listened to even more than they want their problems solved.