A Winning Response to Customers’ Complaints About Teammates
by Kate Nasser |
Leaders, how would your customer facing employees respond to customers who lodge complaints about their service teammates?
This is one of several perilous subjects I discuss with the reps, agents, CSRs, and technical support reps that I teach. I can hear their discomfort as they discuss what to do.
They are torn between being a good team member and being an empathetic customer service professional.
Free your team members from the unproductive trap of being stuck in the middle. Raise this subject with your team and discuss a winning response.
Basic Truths Make the Winning Response Clear
In the face of customer complaints about your teammates, remember …
- Customers’ perceptions are their reality. This is not the time to dig into and challenge their view. They will most likely think that you don’t believe them or that your team’s standard of care is — substandard.
- Defending your teammates ruins the customer experience and can drive customers away forever. When customers tell you how badly your teammate treated them, it is a sign that your team has failed them in some way. What will you, as a team member, do to keep customers coming back?
- Moving to a quick, “how may I help you”, lacks empathy. It projects indifference and a lack of caring. Ignoring the emotion may calm you yet it sacrifices a great opportunity to turn a bad moment into another loyal connection.
A winning response delivers empathy from the team, apologizes for the impact on the customer, and addresses the initial customer request. It isn’t disloyal to the team if the team is united in the mission of delivering the ultimate customer service.
Empathize with feelings don’t analyze for accuracy. Learn from complaints don’t defend as if attacked. Customer service is not an equal relationship. It is a giving profession that takes maturity, commitment to excellence, and at times self-restraint.
As your team refines their people-skills with every customer interaction, it becomes the engine for super customer experience and the magnet for repeat business.
I look forward to tuning your engine with workshops tailored specifically to the personality types on your team!
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.