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Managing Customer Service Blunders Professionally

By: Elaine Fogel

 

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One thing I’ve learned over time… things will definitely go wrong with customers, no matter how much you work to avoid them. The key to small business marketing and branding success is how you professionally manage the blunders.

 
In my upcoming book, Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success, I include an excellent quote by Donald Porter, CBE, former VP, British Airways, former chief manager of corporate communications, Lloyds Bank:
 
“Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.”
 
With that in mind, here are three of the “10 Gracious Things to Do When You Hit Those Bumps in the Road:” 
 
Diffuse customers’ panic, anger, or negativity by staying calm and listening. If you panic (and you will at times), keep your customer communication even keeled, warm, and friendly. Empathize with customers while expressing your concerns, as long as it accompanies your plan to solve the problem ASAP.
 
Keep customers informed regularly. B2B customers have their own deadlines and internal people to please. Do everything you can to make your contacts look good and keep them apprised of any foreseeable problems. If you keep them in the dark, they will harbor negative feelings about you and your company.
 
B2C customers also have personal deadlines. Keep them posted in the same manner.
 
Jump through hoops to solve problems as quickly as you can. The longer misfortunes stay active, the worse it gets for your customer relationship. It’s straightforward.
 
What advice would you add to this list?
 
This article was originally published by Elaine Fogel
Published: October 23, 2014
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