Tuesday, August 30, 2011

When the Customer is Wrong

Unfortunately, the mantra that the customer is always right has been ingrained into our subconscious. The truth of the matter is, for a variety of reasons, the customer is sometimes wrong. Customers might have somehow received the wrong information, overlooked the fine print, misinterpreted something, and the list goes on. For whatever reason, they are disappointed, frustrated and sometimes downright angry that things didn’t go the way they anticipated, so what do you do?

1. Don’t call them ‘wrong’
Even if they are, you don’t say, “You’re wrong.” It is too blatant and too harsh. Apologize for any misunderstanding and offer to clear up the situation.

2. Don’t Give In
It’s easy, especially when the caller is upset or frustrated, to get upset and frustrated right back, but try not to. Stay on an even keel and try not to let their emotions rub off on you. If you must, put them on hold and count to ten before returning to the call (that’s 10 not 100! LOL!). A lot of times, if you let them vent for a minute, they’ll calm down and become a little more rational.

3. Do Explain the Correct Policy or Procedure
If they have the information partially correct, start with the part that they got right and then move into correcting the wrong part. If they don’t have it right at all, offer them the correct information in a calm and pleasant tone (not at all sarcastic).

4. Escalate If Necessary
A lot of people once they understand will acquiesce. However, there are some people who will stick to their demands no matter what has been said. After you have done your best, escalate the call to a manager. Make sure you have covered all of your bases first and use this only as a last resort.