6 Steps for Resolving a Customer Issue

Sometimes, even the savviest brands have to face difficult customer situations. When a customer contacts your company with a complaint, it’s absolutely essential that your agents be trained to handle the situation in a way that calms and satisfies the customer. Here are six steps for resolving a customer’s issue and earning back his trust in the process.

Listen to the customer and assess the situation

If a customer makes contact on a real-time channel such as voice or live chat, the agent should allow him to explain the problem before apologizing and offering a solution. This shows the customer respect and allows him to explain pertinent details that will help the agent find a resolution. On Asynchronous channels such as Facebook or email, agents should assess the situation carefully and determine if it is necessary to contact other employees before responding. For example, a missed delivery may require reaching out to a delivery company or the sales department before a resolution is offered.

Take responsibility for the issue

Customers value honesty, so taking responsibility for the problem is the first step toward earning back trust. Agents should show empathy and promise to offer the best solution in a timely manner. Training agents to develop their soft skills is important for such a situation, as using proper language and exuding genuine respect are critical to communicating in a way the customer appreciates.

Reassure the customer by describing the solution

Once the agent has determined the best course of action, he should describe it in detail to the customer. To further empower the customer, give options whenever possible. For example, a customer who calls about a defective product may be offered a repair or a replacement, depending on what he prefers.

Deliver on your promise

Once the solution is agreed upon, jump into action immediately. Do not waste any more of the customer’s time, and be sure to let him know when he can expect the problem to be fully resolved. As a gesture, go the extra mile by giving the customer a special perk, such as free expedited shipping or loyalty points.

Follow up in a timely manner

If there are any problems whatsoever with delivering the solution, update the customer immediately. Regardless, it’s essential to follow up with the customer on his preferred channel of contact and ask if he is satisfied with your company’s efforts. You may also request that he respond to a survey to help your brand determine how it can improve its practices.

Make problem-solving a company effort

Any kind of customer concern should be discussed with the company as a whole. Executives may determine that customer service strategies or even product design should be addressed, while agents in both the sales and customer service departments may work together to find better ways to connect with customers emotionally and offer more streamlined service. A customer issue does not have to lead to attrition. If your company is prepared to handle every issue in a strategic manner without losing the human touch, any frustrated customer will consider giving your brand another chance to make things right.

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