1. Speed is critical. Customers expect a 24 hour response time. They are delighted by hearing from you within 6 hours and amazed by a 1 hour response. The faster you respond to your customers the easier it becomes to close a sale or solve a problem. Failure to return a call or email is inexcusable.
2. If you don’t have an immediate answer, quickly inform the customer that you are working on their inquiry and will get back to them soon. Then do it!
3. When responding to a customer complaint always begin by assuring the customer that you will fix their problem. This immediately removes the adversarial relationship that can lead to messy and expensive confrontations.
4. Always offer the customer choices. This is particularly important in problem situations. If you offer your customer three or more possible solutions they will feel included in the eventual resolution. Also, you will be surprised at how often the solution selected is not as expensive or burdensome as the one you thought they would demand.
5. Never answer a question by telling a customer something is “company policy.” All responses must make logical sense to both you and the customer. If you can’t reasonably explain the company policy either you need more information or the company policy needs to be changed.
6. The object of problem resolution is not to “satisfy” the customer but to “amaze” them by going above and beyond their expectations.
7. Mistakes and problems always result in opportunities to create long-term loyal customers by exceeding expectations.
8. Transforming an “angry” customer into an enthusiastic advocate is always worth the cost.
9. The resentment felt by an inconvenienced or frustrated customer can be transformed into gratitude and long-term loyalty with a small compensation offer – especially when the customer realizes that the circumstances were beyond your control.
10. Unhappy employees cannot create delighted customers.