Someone contacts you stating how dissatisfied he is about something. Your initial reaction is of course, to panic.
Most Filipino customers are still calm even when they are mad about something. Some, by nature, are downright rude that they think they own the world. Well, don’t take it personal. Learn how to deal with both kinds in this post.
Listen. The greatest gift you can give a client in outburst is keeping your mouth shut and paying attention to every bit of what he is saying. Ah! No – don’t interrupt. Just let your client rant, scream, throw things if he desires to do so, and yes, the popular Filipino way of trash talking. After that, trust that he will be emotionally spent and with your silence, he will come to his senses. By the way, you can let your client know that you are listening by using phrases of acknowledgement like “yes,” “I’m listening,” or “I’m with you.”
Acknowledge. After your client is done with this unceremonious speech, let him know that you understood everything. Capture the gist of his problem and ask for confirmation that it is really the problem. You have to be careful though; if you understand his problem correctly, it might be time to get personal [insert smiley here]. After confirming the problem, offer acknowledgement of it by assuring your client that you will work on a solution with him.
Empathize. People from the Customer Contact Industry are well-versed with the concept of empathy. Let you client know that you see his situation and that you might feel the same way if subjected to the same situation. The winning part of empathy is if it is said sincerely, then your client will be more opt to cooperate with you.
Offer a Solution. If you see more than one solution to his problem, let him know all of it and let him decide which one he prefers. If you see that one option best takes care of his problem, go ahead and offer it to him. If he refuses, ask him what he wants. If what he wants is almost impossible, seek for ways to compensate. Well, this part is really appropriate for a separate discussion, but that ought to be where you want to go. If the solution process requires a number of contacts to be made, send updates to your client about your progress.
Add value to your service. Now this part is what clients always end up loving. Apart from solving his problem, you can offer something to make up for the “inconvenience.” Get him a discount on the same product, a refund, or a voucher for future transactions. You can offer absolutely everything in kind. And before you end your conversation, seek a confirmation that his problem is taken care of. If possible, encourage him to take a survey of some sort to give feedback about his situation and his experience. If you choose to do this, expect to get something that is not really satisfactory. But at least you learned from that experience.