10 worst ways to treat a customer – Part 2
Last week I posted the first two of this list, since I didn’t want to write a mile long article. I wouldn’t read that, would you? So, if you have missed that, check it out to catch up. 10 worst ways to treat a customer – Part 1
And don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that all the service providers make every single mistake on the list and generally treat clients poorly. My point is that service providers have the tendency to forget how it feels to be on the other end of the line, how it’s like being a customer. This is just a subtle reminder.
Now, back to business.
- Never say IMPOSSIBLE.
Naturally, there are client’s request which simply cannot be done. At least not the way the client wants or imagines it.
As I stressed in the previous article, as a customer, I am not a professional. Don’t expect me to know the limitation and obstacles of the certain services. I may have a basic understanding (thanks to Google and Wikipedia), but that knowledge is not enough to comprehend the process in details. The word ‘impossible’ is a communication dead-end, does not offer any room for interaction. How can I react to that? “No, it’s not!” (feeling 5 years old already). Not mentioning the fact that it gives me the impression that you want to get rid of me and you are not willing to put any effort into my issue.
English vocabulary is rich enough to phrase this a bit better without any derogatory overtone.
- Don’t refuse, but counter-offer.
This topic is closely linked to the preceding point, since it gives an alternative way to communicate the impossible, too. I believe, everyone has got many of this kind of answer. I’ve received more than I care to count. “Thank you for contacting us. We are unable to provide this service.”
Being refused has one fatal message: you don’t want to work. You either hate your job or just hate me forcing you to work. I call this the government-office feeling (based on painful experience gathered in the Eastern European bureaucratic maze). But if I am willing to pay for something, the last thing I want to feel is being unwanted. Sure, you might be truly unable to provide me the service I require, however, that is still an opportunity here to promote your company, your services and gain a future customer.
Instead of shutting the door on me, tell me what you CAN do. Provide me alternative solutions: you cannot do A, but certainly B can be done. Just a few extra sentences. That’s all it takes to either change my mind on what I really want or make me return when I need your specific services. It’s not that hard, is it?
To be continued…