Customer Service Recovery: People Skills Deliver Care Not a Defense!
There is one persistent human temptation that threatens customer service recovery — the urge to defend in difficult moments.
Through 25 years of working with customer service and technical support teams, I have seen it happen over and over. Instead of delivering care, the defensive phrases come out and enrage customers further.
What concerned me recently was the advice of a customer service consultant in a blog post about diplomacy in customer service recovery.
I was alarmed when I read her #1 tip — to tell the customer this (defensive) statement:
“I’m trying to help you.”
Customer Service Recovery – Deliver Don’t Defend!
People skills allow you to deliver great customer recovery with definitive caring statements like “I will help you” not defensive reactions like “I’m trying to help you.”
When customers here the phrase “I’m trying to help you”, they hear the defensive suggestions:
- I’m doing my best …
- Things take time …
- You’re being unreasonable …
- You’re not treating me well …
Even a positive tone of voice cannot turn the phrase trying to help you into a great customer service recovery statement. It casts doubt over whether you care and whether you can help. Doubt sinks recovery.
How can you overcome the urge to defend?
- Be aware of your own frustration level. The more frustrated you become, the greater the chance you will reply defensively!
- Pause your conversation every time the customer frizzles. The pause produces an empathetic response instead of a defensive reaction.
- Picture yourself at the finish with a satisfied customer — because you cared and helped.
Even if the customer continues to frizzle, stay in the moment of care. Don’t lapse into defensiveness. It makes it tougher on them, tougher on you, and leaves a terrible lasting impression — even if you resolve the issue.
You and your entire technical support and customer service teams can handle the most difficult moments with care and skill. I am here to help with customized workshops.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email email@example.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.