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What can I do when my client is “wrong”?

Everyone knows the old adage “The customer is always right”.  (And yes, some clients will use this “always right” theory to shamelessly manipulate you!)  So what should a cleaner or restorer do when the customer is flat out wrong?  Let’s make a slight adjustment to the common customer service mantra …

“The customer may not always be right … but they ARE always the customer!”

So avoid the natural desire to justify or defend yourself against a complaining client. Just let the accusations flow, don’t contradict them and then use my 3-step “Emotional Judo” approach!

Step #1- After the customer has “dumped” on you THANK THEM for letting you know about their concern.  (After all, you are grateful that they are coming to you instead of complaining to their neighbors/ their adjuster or worse of all on the Internet!)

Step #2- APOLOGIZE for the disruption in their lives.  Note that you are not automatically accepting guilt here.  (Yet!)  Instead you are truly sorry that they had to call you.

Step #3-  REASSURE your customer by saying, “I’m going to do everything possible to resolve your concern.” (You are, aren’t you?  Then why not tell them?)  When you “take ownership” of a client’s complaint it is an incredibly reassuring Moment of Truth.

Remember that customers are “all steamed up” when they call you. So you must first of all “knock the air out of them” by using this 3-step Emotional Judo system. Now that your customer is all quieted down (and they will be) you can calmly interview them and then of course cheerfully fix their concerns.

By using this approach you will create “Turbo Cheerleaders” out of previously angry customers.  They might even go online and become “Cheerleaders on Steroids” by posting about what a great company you are!

Steve Toburen

PS  What’s your best (worst) “angry customer” story?

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One Response to What can I do when my client is “wrong”?

  1. Spencer B. Suggs July 18, 2014 at 11:14 AM #

    Excellent piece as always!

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