Great Customer Service: Patience Needed

September 29, 2016

They say patience is a virtue, and boy is it true when it comes to customer service. Often times, we run into customers that will test our patience and try to push our limits. As the heads of our companies, it’s important to stay cool, calm and collected.  That is when patience becomes one of our strongest attributes.  I think what most of people in management struggle with is finding that fine line between exceptional customer service and letting each customer get their way. As revenue is the lifeblood of your company, you can’t turn away every client, so here are a couple of important tips to remember.

Don’t Argue Back

It is said that when you win an argument, you still lose, and it’s true. Sometimes it is better to do the right thing than to always be right. If you think about it, a client who is upset, frustrated or mad is more than likely set in their way. No matter what you say, they will refuse to hear reason. This takes a lot of patience because you know you are in the right; you want to explain the situation to the client, but they are simply unwilling to listen…at the moment. When they are upset, try to help them as best as you can at that moment. Once the customer has calmed down, you should be able to resolve the issue and move forward.

Your Goal is to Help

Although helping someone who is yelling at you may be the last thing you want to do, nothing feels better than knowing you helped your customer resolve their issue/worry.

For example, just this week we had a client call upset because she thought we had turned away a client when she was clearly available to service them. Our client called in highly upset and dumbfounded as to why we would turn someone away. After getting a not-so-nice earful for over ten minutes, the single easiest thing to do would have been for us to get defensive and tell our client they were wrong. The conversation wouldn’t have lead to anything productive. We wouldn’t have been able to get to the bottom of the issue with this mentality. With the goal in mind, a lot of empathy and a ton of patience, we were able to show our client that it was never our intention to not get her appointment booked, it was simply that our calendars were not synced correctly, so on our end it showed her and her staff as fully booked for the day.  Pay close attention to your tone to make sure you don’t sound defensive. Show your customers that you can manage any circumstance and help them as best as possible.

The Fine Line

Many times I find that an issue new business owners have is the idea of having to service everyone. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, how much effort you put into helping someone, you cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. There are some clients, who like to hear themselves talk, who like to complain and make themselves feel better by getting their way. I have one thing to say about these types of clients: The customer is not always right! You do not have to tolerate people who are more of a burden than an asset. You do not have to put up with a client who mistreats your employees. The ball is in your court and after offering your best to resolve an issue, sometimes you may have to part ways, and that is okay.

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