Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer Reading Series: How to Create A Customer Service Survival Kit

With summer dawning, many of us have available time to catch up on our reading. Whether you prefer fiction, cooking, history, or even business, with the advent of tablets and e-readers, you can go anywhere and take as many books and magazines with you without hurting your shoulders and back. So, to add to your reading lists, I officially announce the launch of my summer reading series here on my blog – but the reviews will be interspersed with other marketing posts. You may recognize some of the authors, but you will be introduced to an array of worthwhile and insightful books. So without further ado, here is the first book of the Debbie Laskey Summer Reading Series.

Despite all of the buzz about customer service, the truth is, every business needs a customer service survival kit. According to author and customer support expert Richard S. Gallagher, worst-case scenarios matter. This is because worst-case scenarios provide opportunities to teach teams how to interact with customers, how to understand customers and their point of view, and how to resolve situations.

Gallagher’s new book, The Customer Service Survival Kit, What to Say to Defuse Even the Worst Customer Situations, provides the secret. All you and your team must do is “embrace the customer’s criticism with gusto.”

Consider the following scenario: You arrive at a car rental agency at an airport because you’re headed to a relative’s wedding. After driving in the rental car for several miles, the car breaks down. After several phone calls, you are towed back to the rental agency. Which exchange would you want to experience with the car rental agency person?

Choice 1:
You say: Your car broke down and made me miss my aunt’s wedding. I’m furious!

Car Rental Agency: I’m sorry, but unfortunately we aren’t responsible for any damages.

Choice 2:
You say: Your rental car broke down and made me miss my family wedding. I’m furious!

Car Rental Agency: Of course you’re furious! My goodness, our car made you miss your wedding. Please tell me what happened.

The exchange in choice 2 would immediately diffuse the situation. The car rental agency rep threw herself into the customer’s shoes. By feeling every bit of anger and indignation that the customer felt, more often than not, the anger, tension, and frustration dissipates, and a calm and rational conversation can take place.

Gallagher’s book provides quizzes at the end of each chapter to reinforce ways to handle a myriad of situations. Check out the book and see if you can answer them with your customers in mind!

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1 comment:

  1. Great post! I have been working in customer experience management for many years and it really is all about how you say things to customers. There is a huge difference between saying "sorry we can do that" and "I know how you feel, tell me exactly what happened". Diffusing the situation seems to be a lost art in today's customer service industry.


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