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Never Suggest the Customer Has a Problem.

By Tom W.

You are out all day (or night for that matter) and you find out you have a message from one of your customers. You listen to it and realize that they are calling with a complaint and they want you to call them back RIGHT AWAY. Oh, I can still feel the dread that would come over me when this situation occurred. But like my mentor used to say, “Owning a business isn’t for the faint of heart”. So I would pick up the phone and slowly dial their number. And one of the first lessons I learned was to never say “I understand you have a problem”. You know why I know that lesson? Because you open the door to this reply… “I don’t have a problem, YOU have a problem”. Ouch! Lesson learned, never use THAT PHRASE AGAIN. So my focus immediately shifted going forward. Though every situation is a little different, it revolved around this type reply… “I received your message. Thank you for letting me know”. In today’s world you should be glad they called you. They could instead be writing a horrible review about your company online, sharing it with their hundreds of friends on Facebook and who knows what else. Be genuinely happy they took the time to call you. You have to know that the customer calling you to complain is taking time out of their busy day. So now you not only made them unhappy by doing a poor job, but you are now WASTING THEIR TIME TOO! That’s a double whammy that can be hard to recover from. But this is where we take lemons and make lemonade! If you really want to win them over and make them happy again (yes, it’s still possible), check out this post on resolving the customers problem.

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