Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we get things wrong. How you deal with the situation when you don't meet a customer's expectations will determine whether you are able to retain that customer. Mac Mackay of Duncan Alexander & Wilmshurst shares his ten-point plan
- Apologise - for the inconvenience
- Listen carefully: get the facts and details.
- Sympathise: show that you understand the problem. Show that you have heard their complaint.
- Don't guess at an answer if you don't know it.
- Accept responsibility: don't pass the buck. You are not saying that it is your fault. You are apologising and dealing with the complaint on behalf of the firm.
- Take action: pass the complaint on to someone else or deal with it yourself.
- Tell the client what you will do to put things right: if the process is taking longer than you thought, go back and apologise for the delay. Explain what is happening.
- Keep calm, be polite and provide assurance (that you are willing to help; that the problem will not recur).
- Don't argue: if the client is upsetting you and making you angry, and you can't avoid being dragged into an argument, involve someone else. Quite often, bringing in another person will defuse the situation.
- Above all: BE PROFESSIONAL.
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