Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How to Calm an Angry Customer

Recently, I had my DNA analyzed and learned I'm related to Benjamin Franklin.

So I'll quote him.

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”

How can you make amends after disappointing a customer?

Sue Hershkowitz-Coore, author of Power Sales Writing, offers these five tips:

Plan to keep the customer's business. Before you write a word, determine your strategy for delighting the angry customer. Find an alternative solution to her problem.

Begin with a thank-you. Offering a thank-you makes the customer feel "safe and smart," according to Herskowitz-Coore. Writing, "Thank you for giving me a chance to explain the situation," helps disarm further criticism.

Validate the customer's viewpoint. Acknowledge that, from her shoes, the customer's right. "The words 'Your'e right' are magical when they're genuine."

Belay the apologies. Don't dive into the "We're so sorry" waters. An apology is robotic and doesn't soothe; a solution is sincere, and should.

Stay positive. "Explain what is possible, not what is impossible," advises Herskowitz-Coore. Find positive ways to express negatives. Tell your angry customer what you can do, not what you cannot doand explain what's in it for them.
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