Drug testing

What Every Employee Should Know About How to Prevent Customer Service Conflicts

There are five techniques that have been proven to be effective in resolving, minimizing, and preventing conflicts. And by conflicts I am referring to any of the following that may take place between two or more people: misunderstanding, miscommunications, arguments, disagreements, mixed messages, fighting, etc.

A. Active Listening: Use this approach when you want to let the customer know that you're truly paying attention. Do so by totally involving your eyes, ears, and body. Pay attention to his body language, move close, cup your hand over your ear, lean forward, etc. Be patient to let the customer fully explain himself. Avoid interrupting and asking questions in a rapid spitfire fashion. (Doing so might cause the customer to feel like a crime victim being interrogated by the Police.) If you do have to interrupt (sometimes this is necessary to take charge of a rambler), do so politely and professionally by asking permission first. Say, for example, "To better serve you, would you mind if I ask a question or two?"

B. Paraphrasing: Use this approach when you want to make sure you did not miss what was said. "So, if I understood you correctly, you said there were only 5 spaces." (This works extremely well with the next technique, but can be extremely effective if not overused.)

C. Summarizing: Use this approach when you want to break up lengthy complaints into smaller pieces that you can remember and understand. Rather than let the customer ramble on about what is wrong with the product or service he bought, take control by asking him to tell you about each portion/phase/section of the complaint before moving on the next.

D. You-Message: Use this approach when you want to reflect to your customer what you're observing.

* Reflect the customer's emotion. (Identify and name the emotion you are observing.) Say directly to the customer with a smile and pleasant tone of voice, "Mr./Ms Customer, you seem rather angry, mad, provoked, etc. about your situation." (This puts the customer at ease. It defuses his/her emotions from escalating into angry shouting matches or something worse. Be patient and wait for his response that might be an angry agreement with you: an A-HA Moment! You've connected!)

E. I-Message: As a last resort, use this approach to communicate with the customer when:

* your communication and that of the customer might become hostile;

* the communication might become a shouting match; or

* the words might turn to physical confrontation.

Now put your I-Message into action by following these sequences of steps:

1. Get his attention. (Address the customer in a positive, polite, and professional manner.)

2. Identify your emotion. (Identify and name the emotion you are feeling.) "I feel happy/am excited to serve you, etc. when you approach me . . ."

3. Name his misconduct. (Identify the behavior that is offensive.) "... however when you call me names, throw things at me, spit at me, etc."

4. State the consequence(s). (Identify the consequence that you wish him/her to change. And stop! Be extremely cautious not to ramble because by doing so you run the risk of throwing a spark on the cinders.) "... it makes me feel disrespected, etc."

Put it together and it should sound like this: "Mr./Ms, I feel happy/am excited to serve you, etc. when you approach me; however when you call me names, throw things at me, spit at me, etc., it makes me feel disrespected and incapable to serve you, etc." (Stop! Wait for a response!)

Research has shown that the response is 95-98% non-confrontational or non-aggressive. Remember: This approach lets the customer know that, although you disapprove of his (or her) conduct, you still care to help and serve him.

Now put the five techniques together by SOARING to the top of the Mountain by:

* Summarizing a conversation that is becoming too lengthy.

* Observing to see if the customer's body language matches the words spoken.

* Actively listening to what is being said by making eye contact.

* Reflecting on what you thought you heard.

* Indicating that you truly care about the customer and not his deed.

* Naming the misconduct to bring it out into the open.

* Going beyond the emotions to get to the facts.

Remember: When you maximize your potential; we all win. When you don't, we all lose.

? Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in ezines, newsletters, and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Although advance permission is not required, please notify us at execandgroup-consulting@yahoo.com when you use this article.

Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, Management Consultant and Trainer, conducts seminars, lectures, and writes articles on his theme: ... helping you maximize your potential. He offers management, marketing, and parenting resources at his Maximizing Your Potential blog.

limousine chicago service
In The News:

How to Provide Instant Customer Service

Customer service is an essential component of any business. Clearly,... Read More

Customer No Service - How to Lose a Loyal Customer!

So today was the day where I almost stopped going... Read More

At the Carwash; The Customer really is always Right

You have no doubt heard the saying that the customer... Read More

Say It With Humor

When you own a business, you may find yourself in... Read More

What Every Employee Should Know About How to Win the Loyalty of Customers

Dr. Michael LeBoeuf, in his cassette album entitled, Win... Read More

Courting Customers - From First Date to Marriage

Landing a new client is like courting a potential spouse.... Read More

4 Customer Service Mistakes Companies Should Avoid Making

1) Being placed on hold endlessly. Don't you just love... Read More

Your Actions Tell Your Clients How You Expect To Be Treated

There is a widely accepted principle of human behavior that... Read More

What Every Employee Should Know About Putting Positive Phrases Into Customer Service

If you were a customer on the telephone with a... Read More

Loyal Customers Take Commitment

In today's competitive world of retail, many stores are implementing... Read More

Why Cant Microsoft Make Soft Packaging?

Why is it that Microsoft wants you to buy its... Read More

What Type Of Software Is This?

The other day while at the book store, I came... Read More

What Every Employee Should Know About How to Prevent Customer Service Conflicts

There are five techniques that have been proven to be... Read More

The Marvelous World of Metaphors

Recognize metaphors from every angle and round up more insight... Read More

Turning Customer Mistakes Into Raving Fans

When you make a mistake with a customer, should you... Read More

Making the Connection: Customer Relationships That Build Your Business

Have you ever wondered why you often find a coupon... Read More

Customer Service: Why Bears Make Bad Customers

Every business owner should have a picture of his or... Read More

Ten Ways to Help You Improve Your Customer Service

1. Stay in contact with customers on a regular basis.... Read More

Renewing Customer Loyalty

Every business loses customers, but not many do much about... Read More

The Art of Giving Great Service

Sales is tough to get right, and depends on retaining... Read More

Is Your Food Establishment Clean?

Is your restaurant, bar or hotel clean? I mean really... Read More

5 Golden Online/Offline Business Rules To LIVE Or DIE By

Whether online or off, if you plan on running or... Read More

Are You Putting Technology Before Your Customers?

Which is more important the technology or the customer?The one... Read More

Oil Change Customer from Hell or Hoax; You Decide

Evacuation, "E-Vac" Oil System for Oil ChangingHow do most mobile... Read More

Find Out Where Your Firm Stands in Today?s Customer

Looking For Ways to Improve Sales and Customer Relationships?Find Out... Read More

neptun lighting induction under street light Pete's produce ..