The current supply crisis is causing a domino effect of customer service issues. Missed or extended delivery dates, ongoing or unavailable ETA’s, and empty shelves, are causing a title wave of ANGRY CUSTOMERS that salespeople and organizations have never had to handle before!!
Many salespeople and business owners have never had a customer service course or been taught how to handle such an onslaught of TOUGH CUSTOMERS, causing overwhelming stress, anxiety, and frustration while plummeting the morale of sales teams!
I will give you a few customer service tips to help make it a lot easier.
1. SHOW RESPECT & COURTESY AT ALL TIMES! Remember, they are upset at the situation, not you!
2. If they are angrily letting loose (okay tempered or yelling), DO NOT INTERRUPT!! Sit patiently, stay calm and listen. Let them ‘vent’ until they take that big breath and run out of steam.
3. Then ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR FRUSTRATION & EMPATHASIZE WITH THEM
4. APOLOGIZE FOR THE SITUATION
5. SHOW HOW COMMITTED YOU ARE BY SHOWING CONCERN & SUPPORT. For example, “I can’t imagine how frustrating that is. I am so sorry you have had to experience that. We will do our absolute best to help you in every way we can.”
6. Ask for FACT DETAILS that steer the conversation away from emotion.
7. FOLLOW UP ON ANY COMMITMENT YOU MAKE.
8. Always THANK THE CUSTOMER & TELL THEM HOW MUCH YOU APPRECIATE THEIR BUSINESS!
The news you have for them might not be good, but here is what happens when it comes to science and the brain.
Two-thirds of the neurons in the customer’s amygdala, or reptile brain, are their FEAR CENTRE. It searches for fear and latches onto it, negatively escalating this customer experience, subconsciously reducing their trust level, and potentially prompting them to jump ship and move to another supplier. You risk losing even your long-term loyal customers. But science also shows that by ACKNOWLEDGING THEIR FRUSTRATION, SHOWING EMPATHY & CREATING A HUMAN CONNECTION OF CONCERN & SUPPORT, they are more likely to feel heard, respected, valued as a customer, and feel like their needs were met, even though their situation was not necessarily resolved.
So…take the time to be planned, prepared, and practiced before those tempered calls come in or before you walk into their office.
Breathe… smile.. remember it’s not you, it is the situation! Have your invisible armor on… have your script ready and absolutely don’t be defensive or try to stick to the rules!
Put yourself in their shoes. Treat them how you would want to be treated!
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Jackie Rainforth is a global award-winning sales & leadership winning speaker, sales trainer, & business growth consultant, author of The Badass Guide to Selling, (Amazon),. For additional information on Jackie’s keynote presentations and seminars,call 1-403-615-2333 or email [email protected] www.RainmakersGroup.ca and signup for their free monthly sales tips, blog or newsletter.