Rapid Response is Key

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The CEO of a major bank once said, “When you have a customer crisis, there is rarely an easy solution—the solution actually lies in how rapidly, energetically, and sincerely you respond to their complaint. The quality of your response is the solution.”

"Just as surely as the sun rises each morning, you will receive calls from unhappy clients and customers, all of them saying in their own way, ‘You’ve let us down!’” says Andrew Sobel, client loyalty author. “The first principle to remember is that when people are upset, emotions are like facts. Don’t—repeat, don’t—start arguing with your customer about what really happened and whose fault it is! An unhappy customer who tells you they are unhappy is a gift, because most dissatisfied customers never express their anger—they just vote with their feet.”

Here are some of the key questions to ask when this happens:

  • “Thank you for raising this with me. Can you tell me any other facts or background information about what happened?”
  • “Can you say more about that?” (This demonstrates your interest and helps explore the problem more deeply).
  • “How do you think things got to this point?” (This may uncover the origins of the problem, including things the customer may have done to exacerbate it).
  • “This is extraordinarily important to me. How soon can we meet to discuss the problem and how we can best respond to it?” (This shows the customer he is your number one priority right now).

“And finally,” Sobel adds, “don’t forget to apologize!”

Source: Andrew Sobel is the most widely published author in the world on client loyalty and the capabilities required to build trusted business relationships.

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