Handle Customer Complaints Quickly!

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Customer service challenges need to be handled quickly. If you’re too slow in resolving issues it won’t matter what the solution is – you will have lost!

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”
Mahatma Gandhi
by Skip Cohen

On and off I regularly have a “challenge” with Comcast.  But I know I’m not alone because everything is a challenge with Comcast. They’re too big with too many layers to dig through and the guys at the top could care less about what’s happening on the front lines.  The issue I had doesn’t matter, but the challenge was simply being bounced around the company as one person after another tried to figure out what department I needed to speak with.

I’m a huge fan of  WalkTheTalk.com and a number of the different books they publish on customer service, leadership, communication etc. I ran across the TWO-PERSON-RULE from their 1999 publication, 180 Ways to Walk the Customer Service Talk

Adopt the TWO-PERSON-RULE.  Never make a customer talk to more than two people in order to resolve a problem.  If you’re the second person to deal with the customer, you “own” them.  Either solve the problem immediately, or get a phone number and a convenient time to call back.”

I realize most photographers are on their own and rarely have the luxury of more than one other person to help solve customer problems, so let’s modify the TWO-PERSON-RULE.  If you’re a solo operator, make it a point to solve customer problems no later than the second phone call. 

Don’t go back and forth over the customer’s issues.  Listen to their concern, empathize and if you can’t solve the problem right there, call them back within 24 hours with a solution. It’s important to solve problems quickly and not let things drag out.  When things drag out longer than a customer anticipates, whatever the solution is, no matter how hard you’ve worked, it’s anticlimactic!

And one more thought thanks to Walk The Talk…

“Complainers are GREAT!  They give you the opportunity to fix their problems and keep them as customers – instead of saying nothing and taking their business elsewhere.”

Illustration Credit: © corund – Fotolia.com

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