15 Solutions to Fix Difficult Customer Service Situations


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No matter how great our customer service delivery may be, we all will encounter difficult customer service situations.

If you’re asking yourself, “how can I deal with a difficult customer?” or “how can I deal with an upset customer?” You are not alone. No matter how great our customer service delivery may be, we all will encounter difficult customer service situations. The key to dealing effectively with difficult customer service solutions is focusing on the thing that matters most, the customer.

Customer service is an intensely human activity, and as humans go, we’re all imperfect. Because we’re all imperfect, it’s natural that our customer service delivery will from time to time also fall short. When our customer service fails to live up to the ideals of excellent customer service, the result is difficult customer service situations or upset customers.

Fix difficult customer service situations by focusing on what mattes most.

So how can you best handle these tough customer service questions, or how can you best deal with an angry customer? The key to training customer service agents to effectively deal with these situations is by returning to the most basic level of real customer service, focus on the customer.

Shift your perspective about service and make it personal. Ask yourself and your staff, How many customers can we afford to lose today? [These] simple steps to mastering challenging customer service situations, [will bring] tremendous results. Remember, service is more than just a word, it is a necessity!

Anthony Mullins, President and Coach for The Elite Coaching Alliance.

15 Solutions to Fix Difficult Customer Service Situations

1. Make a personal connection with the customer

2. Show real concern for the customer and the problem they have

3. Use positive language when interacting with the customer

4. Clarify the customer’s issue to assess the situation

5. Explain the customer’s problem to confirm understanding

6. Discover what the customer needs to resolve the problem

7. Offer the customer a solution, not an excuse

8. Offer the customer choices in approaching a solution

9. Explain any potential challenges in implementing the solution

10. Offer expert opinion on the best solution for the customer’s problem

11. Explain the process of implementing the solution

12. Act and deliver the solution to the customer’s problem

13. Get results to solve the customer’s problem

14. Follow up to ensure that the customer sees the results of your customer service actions

15. Evaluate and plan a course of action to eliminate the problem in the future

Practice, practice, and practice some more in order to make these 15 solutions to fix difficult customer service situations a natural part of the customer service delivery within your organization.

Superior customer service solutions

Superior customer service is one of the most difficult deliverables today. Why? Too many employees see customer service as a low-wage, low-skill entry level job. Delivering real customer service solutions is a professional career. The best of the best approach it professionally and are not only exceptionally talented at connecting with humans, but masters at getting real work done to solve challenging customer problems.

Rally around the banner of exceptional customer service

As organizations align around delivering a better customer service experience and enable the most talented customer service professionals to make a difference to their customers, the results will be astounding as customer service will build better customer relationships leading to greater customer engagement and customer loyalty.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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