Dealing With Humans: Basic Manual for Working With People: Happy Client
This part of “dealing with humans” is more concerned with those who work at any kind of customer service including stores, restaurants, call center or any other person who considers themselves responsible to talk to the unhappy customer, understand his needs, and do the best so he will leave happy and satisfied and come back soon.
An unhappy client is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for you to take a bad experience for your client and make it a good one. Every time you take a bad experience and make into a good one you know that this is a customer that will come back and if spread any word about your place, it’s definitely a good one. So how do we do that?
A Challenging Client?
Load Your Wagon
1. Have a toolbox. This means you should know exactly what you can offer your unsatisfied client in different situation. Of course, you can’t predict every possible scenario, but having a large toolbox of them with an appropriate solution can help you solve most problems on your first day of the job in no-time. In order to do that, ask all the questions you can before you start, during training for example. Asking questions is the best way to learn so don't be afraid to ask as many as you have, it’s better to ask now than make mistakes later.
2. Hold to your own principles. Every business (and its owners) should have something they believe in, their point of view for their business; the way they want their service done, the quality of their products, the satisfactory of their clients. If you bend to no limit to please your customer you might get the opposite outcome of what you wish for. As an employee or as the owner, respect yourself and expect to be respected by others. Respect the principles of your managers and the place you represent. It’s not only spitting into your well, your also quite disrespecting yourself being a lousy employee.
3. Explain yourself. Every one of your principles has to have a good reason and explanation. For example, a client in a restaurant who wants a dish a certain way but the chef doesn’t agree to serve it that way should have an explanation for it. If the reason the chef won't serve it is because your sweet-sauce salad without pares and sauce is just a bunch of leaves and you believe people won’t enjoy it that way you should tell it to your client. He will understand you want what's best for him and let it be. Maybe they'll insist that this is how they like their bunch of leaves and you can just serve it to them, who knows.
4. Not at any cost. Remember, some will leave unhappy, and it’s okay. You should always try and do your best to satisfy a client but if you tried your best to make them happy, followed your principles, those you truly believe in and have a good explanation for, and eventually it didn’t work out maybe a small gesture in your behalf is in order so that they will see you care about them but then, so be it. Apologize sincerely that you couldn’t do anything else to help them and let it be.
It's Your Job To Make Them Happy
You’re called to deal with the unhappy client. Now what? How do you make this opportunity into an accomplishment?
5. Share their pain. The unhappy client has to know that you’re truly sorry for thier unhappiness, and you should be. Explain you want the best for them; your goal is their happiness. Hopefully, it really is. This is not a competition to see who gets tired first; it is your job to make them happy. When they will feel you truly care about them and want their happiness it will make the situation much easier and more comfortable for the both of you. You can even try and ask them how you can help them, what can you do that would make them feel better or solve what's bothering them. If you can do what they’re asking or not doesn’t matter that much, it opens a conversation. This is the moment you kindly apologize you can’t give them that and offer something as similar as you can from your toolbox. The important thing here is to understand them.
6. Understand their needs. This is crucial. You can’t solve a problem if you don’t know what the problem is. Listen to your client; they are all that matters now and this is how you should make them feel. If they are unhappy with a product or a service you provided you should explain that you, and the place you represent, do your best to provide the best you can and you will check the product immediately (you should really do that. This isn’t to get them off your back, it’s your way to get better).
7. Solve it. Now that you understand what they need, all that's left is to hand it over. If replacing the product with a new one is an option, that’s always an easy choice, also normally quite effective. Sometimes a more personal and creative touch is necessary. It’s your job to figure it out. Use what you learned from all those questions you asked in training.
8. Do a follow-up. Pay attention to them; make sure they are happy with the new results. As soon as they are happy so should you be. You succeeded in your mission and made another person happy, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be happy, and don’t be afraid to show it.
This is Not a Competition To See Who Gets Tired First
9. Always try to keep learning. Keep asking questions that come to mind, don't try to avoid "annoying customers" or difficult situations and if you're frustrated sometimes, it's okay. Share it with someone, I'm sure you will find out you're not the only one who's frustrated from time to time, and go find your next time customer. Those are the situations you learn from the most.
10. Analyze your loss. One of the most important things you can do is to learn and try to improve yourself. If it was your mistake it can be either a lack of knowledge, which is a lack of tools in your toolbox, or lack of capability, which means you were unable to either control the situation and solve it or to use the right tool your client needed. Either way, there’s always room for improvement. Try understanding what you felt, if there’s something you could have done better, if there was anything distracting you, if you were too upset with the behavior of the other person and that’s why you didn’t do your best. Anything that comes to mind is okay. Accept the reason, whichever it may be, remind yourself you can’t always win and try to think what you could have done better to get a different outcome. After you do that on your own, go consult with your manager or an experienced employee and see if there was anything you could have done better or any solution that they can think of that you didn’t. With more experience the toolbox gets bigger, they always might have a few tools they can add to yours.
Load Your Wagon
Have a toolbox
Share their pain
Hold to your principles
Understand their needs
Analyze your loss
Not at any cost
Do a follow-up
At the end of the day, working with people should be something with somewhat of satisfactory. It's a place to make people happy and as human beings this usually gives us a good feeling. Every day is a chance to find the little things that can, make you satisfied with your job, whatever it is. Seize it.