Now, given the interaction between a company and its customers, problems may arise from time to time during and after the transaction process.
How customer problems are handled can make a huge difference on whether a customer remains loyal to a business or switch to the competitors.
The fact is solving customer problems demands systematic, analytical, and exceptional interpersonal skills.
Pattie Gibson-Odgers, in her book titled, The World of Customer Service, states that problem-solving with customers involves four steps namely:
1. Determine whether the situation is a disagreement or a true conflict of interest.
Obtaining the customer’s point of view regarding the problem along with one’s own can help to zero in on the problem much more effectively.
2. Analyze your interest and the customer’s interests.
Enlightened management tends to empower their customer service representative to make decisions in the interest of customers that will benefit the company.
The customer service representative should know ahead of time what concessions can be made and the limitations one has in dealing with customer problems. In other words, a CSR must know when to hold and when to fold.
3. Brainstorm solutions and generate ideas together.
Involving the customer in the decision process is very important. Points of agreement should be established early in the problem-solving process.
Various options should be weighed and analyzed before a final decision is made.
4. If step 3 doesn’t resolve the situation, make some mutual low-priority concession.
Showing patience is important. One may also have to repeat steps 3 and 4 more than once.
Nigel Belle, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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