Build an expert customer service problem resolution approach


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An expert approach to customer service requires a well-defined process for problem resolution. Let’s look at how to start setting up such a process.

1. Start by actively ”harvesting” complaints. Yes, harvesting: Your company should have the same policy as Don Corleone in The Godfather and insist on hearing bad news right away. The sooner you learn about the problems customers perceive with your service or product, the faster you can take corrective action, minimize bad publicity, and turn the situation into one that brings your customer (along with your customer’s online and offline friends) back to your side.

Whirlpool does this with its active presence on Facebook. Southwest, Delta, and Comcast (yes, Comcast) do it by active monitoring of Twitter—with varying degrees of success, depending on the solidity of the organization behind the tweet. An incredibly low tech way to do this is to stop doing the “do not reply to this email” approach in how your send your mass emails, and instead allow every email recipient to reply directly to the sender if desired, thus providing a frictionless way to give you input.

2. Once these customer concerns are received, through whatever channel they come in, your problem-resolution process needs to serve the emotional needs of your customers. This means teaching your staff to apologize and empathize immediately with the customer’s version of the story, sincerely and without hesitation or equivocation, saving the idea of

”right and wrong” for another time.

There are more steps involved in creating a successful problem resolution process, but these are the two that are central to getting started. Expect things to go wrong. Then plan for this eventuality, keeping the emotional needs of your customer central.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Micah Solomon
Micah Solomon is a customer service consultant and trainer who works with companies to transform their level of customer service and customer experience. The author of five books, his expertise has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, NBC and ABC television programming, and elsewhere. "Micah Solomon conveys an up-to-the minute and deeply practical take on customer service, business success, and the twin importance of people and technology." –Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder.


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