The customer is always right. Right?
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
EVERYONE has heard the saying, "the customer is always right." But what does it really mean? Have you ever encountered the cutomer that wasn't right? Of course, we all have. How do you handle the customer who certainly isn't right?
Treating your customer with respect, even when they don't return the favor is putting that saying into practice. While a customer may not be right, a good customer service approach is to show respect toward their opinion and hear them out. If there are flaws in their logic, then help them navigate to those flaws through their own thinking rather than slamming them over the head with it. I call this the Logic Lead. A great agent can lead the customer down the logical path without coming across as too forceful or patronizing.
Here is an example:
Customer: "My gas bill is too high this month. You guys are ripping me off! It's criminal."
Agent: "We are terribly sorry about you receiving a high bill. The charge rate is actually a fixed rate, so the change in charge is actually driven by usage. Lets take a look at anything that might have resulted in a higher level of gas usage."
1. "First, we can research the average outside temperature for that period. Oh, it looks like it was unseasonably cold. Did you have your heat set on?"
2. "Did you have your heat set at a higher temperature than normal? Is your furnace getting older? A new higher efficiency model can save you thousands on heating costs."
3. "Have you checked the settings on your water heater? Is it an old water heater? It might be inefficient."
4. "Do you have any other appliances that use gas? Did you possibly use them more than average?"
This Logic Lead method of talking the customer through the possible ways that they ended up with a high bill can help them reach the right conclusions on their own. If the agent were to be dismissive of the customer's concerns and just reiterating that the bill is valid, the customer will often "dig in" their heels and simply believe the company is crooked and doesn't care.
For all you customer service managers out there, are your agents effectively using a Logic Lead technique? If not, why not? If so, is it optimized?