Managing Sensitive Customer Issues

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Your busy day didn’t have room in it but it happened.  That “special” client presented another problem that has to be resolved—immediately and to his satisfaction.  Typically, you are the “go to person” who knows how to put him in the best mood, negotiate a resolution that leaves everyone happy, and wish him a pleasant adieu until the next visit.

But is your entire team as polished as you when it comes to these kinds of situations? Are they empowered to resolve sensitive problems…to please the client at an acceptable level without “giving away the store”?

Exceptional service never takes a holiday, so incorporate problem-resolution vignettes in your weekly sales meetings.  Try this one and allow 15 minutes for your employees to huddle and formulate the best answers:

Divide the group into teams of three.  Create a challenging situation in which a customer (an entrepreneur with a $50,000 Certificate of Deposit with your financial institution) who wants a late payment fee reversed on her personal credit card account.  She receives a paper statement via U.S. mail.  She said her payment was late due to being out of town for two weeks “taking care of a personal matter”.  This is her second request in 4 months asking for a fee reversal on her credit card account.  Your company reversed the fee the first time she asked, however, this time, she is threatening to “blast your company on social media” and to talk with her mother if you don’t appease her.  By the way, her mother, a client for over 25 years, has multiple accounts totaling over $850,000 with your company.

What methods/processes will your team use to resolve this issue without enraging the client?

Does this business relationship have any “real” value to your organization?

Is the relationship worth salvaging?

What level of employee/management should get involved?

What mode of communication should be used to engage with the client?

Is E/Q (emotional intelligence) applicable to this situation?

What “key” words/phrases should be used to ensure not to incite her temper?

After 15 minutes, select one person from each team to share their responses with the entire group.  How different are the responses?  Identify your employees’  problem-solving skills.  Incorporate this type of exercise into regular training modules.

Share some of the conclusions that were drawn from the exercise.  Your ideas are important to all of us.

Have a great day and remain exceptional !

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