When Resolving Client Issues, Don’t Say This

woman in business signaling don't say this

Resolving Client Issues: When you pay money for a product/service and something goes wrong, what do you most want to happen next?

Do you want a resolution from the company/individual? Do you want swift action taken? Maybe you want an apology.  Or do you prefer to “hope” the right thing is done by you?

Most of us want a swift resolution and an apology is always nice too. What many of us don't want to do is spend time and energy “hoping” the company/individual does right by us.

Recently I discovered that I was charged for a service I did not agree to pay for, nor did I receive. When I brought it to the attention of an employee of the company, he actually put his hands up (imagine playing cops and robbers and he responded as if I was the robber holding him at gunpoint) and said, “I have no control over what was charged to your card. I'll have to bring this to the attention of the manager and he'll determine what charges are yours.”

Of course, my response was, “When will I hear from the manager?”

To which he replied, “I guess I can have him call you, do you want to leave a number?”

Resolving Client Issues Continued…

About 12 hours later I received a voice mail from the manager. He said he looked into the charges and realized a staff member charged me for someone else's services. He then said, “I can assure you that hopefully this has been dealt with.”

Please re-read his response one more time. He's assuring me that “hopefully” it's been dealt with?  Would you feel assured by that statement? Would you have felt more assured had he said, “I can assure you this issue has been resolved and the charges have been reversed on your credit card.” This is a much stronger statement, it's more credible, it might even give you some peace of mind knowing he's confident in his response.

When resolving client issues, do not use words like “hope.” Clients want to know you're confident and credible when offering a solution.

Most of us hate confrontation. It sucks. And it can be embarrassing when someone who works for you drops the ball. However, how you handle these situations will either create customer loyalty or turn people off from ever doing business with you again.

These are the times when you want to pause and think about how best to respond. This manager had more than a few minutes to think about his response to me. He was calling me back so he had as much time as he needed to formulate his response.

Resolving Client Issues: Sales Tip

Your sales tip this week, take the time to think about your response before picking up the phone or shooting off an email.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. If I were in this person's shoes, what response would satisfy me?
  2. Is my response credible? And am I able to deliver it in a confident way?
  3. How can I set myself/company up for future business with this client?

For those wondering what do when the unhappy customer is standing in front of you or is on the phone, you might say, “Please give me a moment to look into this and come up with a resolution for you. Would you be agreeable to that?”

Then, when you go back to the customer, leave out the word “hopefully” in your suggested resolution. Be confident, be credible. The word hopefully completely undermines credibility and authority.

Wishing you continued success this week.

Agree? Disagree? Have additional comments or thoughts on this article? Please share.

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