Turning difficult moments into positive customer experiences

Jeremy and Jenny are attending the “Turning difficult moments into positive customer experiences” webinar by Citrix Online today.  Kate Nasser @katenasser is the presenter.

Jenny: Hi Jeremy! It’s less than 20 minutes in and I’m already inspired to turn negative situations into positive experiences for our customers. Kate Nasser has already brought up the “step into their perspective” for the customer, which I feel is SO important. Customer’s don’t wake up in the morning and ask for problems. But, when they have them, they want to speak to someone who will LISTEN and HELP. Kate even states that sometimes, it’s  not always about just solving the problem but about caring. Do you agree with that? What has stood out for you so far?

Jeremy: The webinar is definitely wowing me.  I totally agree that the customer has to know that we care before we can work with them on a solution.  Kate talked about replacing our fears with care in these negative situations.  Wow, I hadn’t really thought of that before but I definitely fear failure and losing control of the customer.  I fear that maybe I won’t be viewed as the expert or  might be humiliated but it truly does inhibit the ability to care for the customer.  Operating out of fear ensures that we will have our defenses up.  It’s a bad idea.  I am challenged to improve in this area.

Jenny: I agree, replacing fears is huge. What steps do you think you would start with to challenge this? I also fear failure and am always afraid of letting the customer down with not being able to give them a resolution. I definitely have a tough time with customers who are irate, because it poses more of a challenge to restore their trust and resolve their issue. I’m learning more about handling these situations and over the years, have found success with this just by listening to the customer, being empathetic and honest as well as “real” with them. But, knowing your “customer” is so important for these situations, too.

Jeremy: I definitely saw strong ties to the principles we learned a couple weeks ago in the Zappos webinar.  The personal emotional connection with the customer is so critical.  It’s so much about meeting the customer where they are and I really like how Kate said to never try to control the customer.  The customer needs to be heard and empathized with and then you collaborate on a solution.  Great stuff.  I totally feel inspired to try this out.

Jenny: Me too–the inspiration is flowing! I actually JUST used this in real time with a very distraught customer. Here’s what I did: 1.) Let him vent for as long as he needed to. 2.) Thanked him for being so descriptive with the issue and attended to every detail he brought up. 3.) Resolved the situation in a clear and concise manner, providing a lot of empathy along the way. 4.) Ended the call with a laugh. 5.) Followed up with him via email to made sure he knows I/we care about our customers and to let me know if further issues arise. 6.)He wrote back with positive feedback about the whole situation. Now, we just need to encourage the rest of our team to be as inspired as we are!

Jeremy: You are definitely better at that than me but our challenge really is to multiply this across our support team.  I so quickly get defensive.  I found Kate’s advice on dealing with irate customers who are using profane language to be amazing.  Using quotes like “I would be happy to work with you when we can speak professionally to each other” or “Is this a personal attack or are you just very upset” are much more intelligent ways of handling customers than stooping to their level and arguing.  Overall, this was a great webinar.  I truly feel like I have some useful tools and can’t wait to try them out!


Jenny:
I couldn’t agree with you more! I love how much we’ve been learning lately and it’s exciting to put these new tools to work!

 

Jenny Dempsey is currently the the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. She has worked at tech startups since 2005. She's the co-founder and regular contributor over at CustomerServiceLife.com. She's a certified health coach, but not the kind that forces you to only eat cardboard and deprive yourself of ice cream. JennyDempseyWellness.com, the company she started, was designed to bring a new type of wellness into the workplace, one that gives you permission to look deeper into yourself, rather than just on the healthy snacks in the break room. She is the mother to a toothless rescue cat named Chompers. Avocados and veggie tacos are the way to her heart. She's also a Hanson fan for life.

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