Tag Archives: Complaints

Following Up Turns the Tables


Turning the Tables

A friend of mine recently catered a home party for a regular client and received a gratuity that was not as generous as in the past. As part of his regular practice he  placed a follow up call to the client the next day. When asked about the service and food quality the client replied ” I didn’t want to say anything, but one of your employees was not very professional in the way he interacted with my guests. ” “He spent too much time in causal conversation and not enough time clearing dishes.”

My friend thanked the client for making him aware of the issue. He apologized and said he would pay closer attention to supervising his staff and speak to the employee about the incident to ensure it would not happen again.

A few days later in the mail my friend received a check from the client to compensate for the gratuity and a request to cater an upcoming party. The same client made recommendations to her friends regarding his catering service and he was awarded several future catering jobs.

Following up is an opportunity to turn around a bad experiences,  strengthen relationships and turn customers into evangelists.

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I Didn’t Want to Say Anything But…


Ever talk to a customer and at the end of your conversation they say those words “I didn’t want to say anything, but…”

The customer feels hesitant about relaying information and it’s your job to extrapolate it.  It’s so easy to brush it off and sweep it under the carpet, instead keep positive and look at this as an opportunity to turn a bad experience into a positive one. Information obtained from customers can be used to improve processes, service and relationships with customers.

It starts with customer engagement:

  • Listening – Carefully listen to what the customer is saying without interruptions.
  • Documenting – Take detailed notes so the customer does not have to the repeat information.
  • Expressing Empathy – Be empathetic to help prevent further frustration.
  • Apologizing – Say your sorry and be genuine. Focus on restoring the relationship. Let the customer know how the issue will be resolved and what will be done to ensure it does not happen again.
  • Following Up – Take ownership of the issue and keep in contact with the customer on the status and when it will be resolved.

The most important part of this phrase is what comes after the but. Instead of just letting it go by the wayside, take time to stop and listen for an opportunity to learn.

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With the onslaught of self service portals is the CSR extinct?

IGN Entertainment just signed up Parature for support. Prior to the agreement with Parature, IGN was having to dedicate staff to answer every question via email.  Additionally,  there was wasted effort with about 95% of the questions being redundant. Parature was chosen because of it’s easy to use interface, self-service features and multi-language capabilities.  IGN says it resolves 57% of tickets by utilizing Parature’s auto-responders. Chris Anderson, Senior Manager of Customer Service at IGN says “Parature is 50 percent of my work force. With Parature, I am able to use fewer CSRs, keeping my staffing budget low.”

In my opinion, there will always be a need for the Human Touch, while frequently asked questions and general inquires work well with self-service portals customers concerns of more complex and technical in nature will need a highly skilled customer service representative to insure a customer has the best experience in getting their problem resolved.

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Customers are increasingly using Social Media to voice complaints

Customers frustrated with lack of responses from traditional means such as phone calls and email are flocking to Social Media to voice complaints.

Director Kevin Smith’s debacle of being removed from a Southwest Airlines flight resulted with him immediately discussing the incidence on Twitter.  Southwest Airlines via their Twitter account issued apologies.

Companies will need to Tweet, log Facebook responses and utilize YouTube to proactively and reactively respond to the increase usage of Social Media to voice customer service complaints.