The holiday season is upon us and there is no more important time to prepare your employees to handle any situation that may arise. Customers are a bit more stressed this time of year and can be especially reactive to a bad customer service experience. You cannot do enough to plan ahead and prepare your employees to prevent a situation before it starts.
There is an enormous pool of information to pull from out there but one has stuck with me from my years in college is a book by Dr. Stephen R. Covey, titled “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. The book has several chapters and leads you through each of the 7 habits. However the resounding theme of the book is we need to strive to be proactive and not reactive. This is true in almost all situations of life and especially with an upset customer. When I was in the industry as a service advisor at a Ford dealership, I found that my customers were not always happy about bringing their vehicles in to get service. During this time of year it just meant one more thing to add to the list of to-dos. But what I found is that if I would just do the simple thing of wearing a smile on my face it would go far to change my customers’ perspective.
When we have an upset customer and they start in on us, our human nature is to push back. What we need to realize is that we are all in the customer service business, no matter what title or job role we serve. The first rule in my book of customer service is to let the customers’ negative comments just roll off my back, like water on a ducks back. Your customers’ negative comments are not personal, however if we react to our customers’ behavior the situation will escalate. However if we are proactive in taking care of their issue, statistics show that we hold a better chance of retaining that customer for life.