Every agency will inevitably have to deal with an upset customer at some point in time. Your challenge: To handle the situation in a way that leaves the customer satisfied. If you’re lucky, you can even encourage them to serve as a passionate advocate for your agency going forward.
Is your agency prepared to deal with a call from an upset client, a major fire at an insured business or simply a negative online review about your sales or service? These unexpected challenges require internal planning and discussion to ensure a timely and effective response.
The October release from Best Practices’ Customer Service Experience will help your agency prepare for the unexpected with tips about unhappy customers, social media scares, negative reviews, disaster communication, texting and more.
You and your customer service staffs’ ability to effectively address customer complaints provides a great opportunity to turn dissatisfied customers into lifelong customers.
Here are some tips to help ensure that you are ready to help when a complaint is made:
- Listen to what they have to say and don’t interrupt until they are finished. Don't get defensive or take the complaint personally, and don’t jump to conclusions.
- Once they have finished, repeat back what you heard and ask questions to better understand their perspective. You want to solve their problem, not argue with them. Empathize and look for ways to resolve the issue.
- Remember that an apology will often diffuse the situation. Don’t place the blame on another person or department. Simply let them know that you are sincerely sorry for the issue that has caused concern.
- Work with the customer to find an acceptable solution. Start by asking, "What would be an acceptable solution to you?" They may not know, but making them a partner in solving the issue will assure them you care about both them and the outcome. Be prepared to offer a few solutions of your own.
- If you need to work with someone else internally to solve the problem, do so quickly. Remember that customers prefer the person they are speaking with to be able to solve their issue. Sending complaints upstream for others to handle only adds to the customer's frustration.
For the rest of the story, visit “Be Ready for Unplanned Communication” online.
The Customer Service Experience is an online guide that will help you confidently and efficiently provide meaningful, valuable and profitable customer service—a foundational component of your business. Don’t miss previous releases, ranging from “Know Your Agency” to “Understand Your Marketplace” to “Care for New Customers.”
For more information about the content, email Best Practices staff.