Customer satisfaction is a term so widely used, yet, a reality so elusive to most. Some try to make it a reality in their businesses; some have already mastered the art of it; while it seems like the rest of the pile don’t give a care in the world about it. To this ‘I don’t care’ businesses, the phrase “The customer is always right” is a stumbling block and an offense to them and their businesses. They really do not care about what their customers think, feel or how they would like to be treated – at least it seems this way to their customers. To them, the phrase “My business is always right” seems more tolerable and customary to themselves and their businesses; but you see, the phrase that says the customer is always right only means it figuratively and not literally. Literally, some of the time the customer is wrong! But you just need to suck it up and handle every customer service situation with all meekness. To be meek is when you find yourself in a situation where you can show your power, right and authority but you choose not to. Every business needs to be meek towards their customers.
Every business needs to be meek towards their customers.
What happens when you come in contact with “customers from the pit of hell” as I call them? Good question! You’ll most certainly come in contact with customers like these but I’ll tell you one thing that’s for sure, there is no one way to react to and handle these customers; every situation differs from the other and your reactions should differ depending on the situation at hand.
However, I believe there are certain qualities you need to show to handle even the toughest customers. They are:
- Calmness: Regardless of how crazy the situation has gotten to, you need to be calm in handling the situation. Calmness shows you are in charge or the situation – even if you are not!
- Patience: You need to be patient with the situation and do not loose your cool. See the situation die out under your control and don’t make rash decisions. The other customers are banking on you to not make any rash decisions. Be patient for the authorities (if it gets to that) to arrive and do not lay a finger on the customer. Except of course in very extreme cases where you need to defend yourself.
- Decisiveness: Some times, the problem isn’t as big as it seems. You need to be able to think critically and make a decision. Being decisive early enough can stop the problem almost immediately.
These three qualities are needed to handle even the toughest customers from hell without losing any of your other customers.
One other thing you must know is this: you will make a mistake! We’re all humans and can loose our cool some day but don’t let that put you down – how you react and respond to your mistake is more important than the mistake itself and can either send your customers packing or bring you more customers. United airlines, I’m sure we’ve heard of what happened (if you haven’t, read here), just had a customer service crisis and they did not handle it right! To be honest, I believe the airline industry has one of the worst customer service ever, maybe it’s because they know their customers can’t do without them – I mean, people need to travel for business, leisure, whatever, people travel every day; and it’s almost as if they’re all in a competition to prove which of them has the worst customer service.
Anyways, let’s talk about customer service in Nigeria! I know right, these two words almost shouldn’t be used in the same sentence – customer service and Nigeria. Don’t get me wrong, there are some businesses who I’m sure have mastered the art of customer service here in Nigeria. Businesses like …… Businesses like ……. Ok I’ll just let you fill in those blanks yourselves because I’m not sure I’ve ever come in contact with any of these businesses, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any! So I asked a couple of friends what is it they dislike the most about customer service in Nigeria and these are their replies:
- Rude service providers
- No apologies, refund or any form of compensation for wrong products or services
- Slow services
- Lack of availability of preferred products
- No customer loyalty rewards whatsoever
- Lack of organization in their giving information, providing service, businesses processes, etc
- Lack of information from front line staff – always checking with “Manager” for even the littlest bit of information
- Websites are outdated
- Lack of proper information on websites
I know right, they sound familiar to you also. Let’s call them the disastrous 9. Good name right? The Disastrous 9! To be honest with you, it’s either one or more of these nine problems most businesses have in Nigeria and I’m not just talking about private businesses here, government businesses and agencies included. The government agencies and co. are the most unfortunate of all because you would expect them to have all the resources they would ever need to make customer satisfaction possible. However, I’m not here to destroy but to build! So how can we get rid of the disastrous 9?
In our next post we’ll discuss about the disastrous 9 and simple ways for you to get rid of them in your businesses.
Customer satisfaction can be achieved and we can help you achieve it even in the toughest of situations!
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We are Ya’ats Advisory Services and we’re here to bring customer satisfaction your way.