Why do salespeople always have to be right?
Why do customer service people always have to be right?
When a customer calls and has a question, a concern, a complaint, or needs an answer, the first words out of your mouth set the tone for the transaction. And these words lay the foundation for the future of the relationship.
The bad news is: more than 90 percent of the people that respond, either in sales or service, don’t give an answer; they give an excuse. The only good news inside that bad news is that 80 percent of the 90 percent is your competition. So all we have to do is fix the 10 percent-which happens to be you.
MAJOR CLUE: No one is interested in your excuse. Not your customer, not your boss, not your mother, not your teacher, not your children. No one wants to hear your excuse. All they want is friendly, helpful answers.
If you just begin the conversation in response to your customer with my three words, “Oh that’s horrible” followed by, “I hate when that happens, but you’re in luck because I’m the best person to handle that. Here’s what we are going to do…” all would be wonderful.
Should you apologize? Yes, if the situation warrants it, but the customer is one billion times more interested in the solution and the outcome than in the apology. In fact, the apology means nothing if it’s not followed with an action or a solution that resolves the situation, completely. And if you want to keep the customer, resolve the situation memorably.