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Maintaining  Self-Control
You must do more than show a positive attitude toward your job and the customer; you must also show respect  for  the  person’s  need  for  service.  Disrespectful comments,  such  as  the  following,  indicate  that  the customer’s request is not important and that you have better things to occupy your time: Everybody  knows  that! You came all the way up here for that? You  didn’t  know! You were supposed to be here yesterday. We’ll get to it. Case Number 3 illustrates the effect of disregarding the  customer’s  need.  SN  Boat  may  not  have  been eligible  to  strike  for  RM,  but  the  response  he  received was  not  satisfactory.  Instead  of  intimidating  SN  Boat into believing he couldn’t qualify for RM, SN Christmas should  have  explained  the  qualifications  required.  LPO Brush should never have allowed or taken part in such treatment of a customer. Had they given SN Boat the answers he needed, they could have met his needs even though they couldn’t give him the answer he wanted. MEETING CUSTOMER NEEDS In  the  preceding  chapter  we  presented  various  case studies to help you analyze the effects of your actions as a contact point representative. These analyses were intended  to  help  you  see  yourself  from  the  customers’ point of view and to help you answer the question, Am I providing good service? In most of the case studies, when the customers began seeking help, they were in a good  mood,  had  trust  in  the  ability  of  the  contact representative,  and  were  willing  to  accept  the representative’s  solution.  In  reality,  that  is  not  always  the case. Trying to meet a customer’s needs involves several obstacles: coping with a negative attitude, maintaining self-control,  determining  the  specific  cause  of  the problem, and identifying contributing causes. These obstacles can complicate the customer’s problem and your efforts to provide a solution. Coping With a Negative Attitude Regardless  of  the  nature  or  seriousness  of  a problem, a customer’s negative attitude can complicate it. The customer may be angry, worried, or frustrated; lack confidence in your rating; or be unwilling to accept anything less than the desired solution to a problem. If  you  can  recognize  such  attitudes  and  make appropriate allowances for them, you may avoid further complicating  the  customer’s  problem. An angry, worried, or frustrated customer may have difficulty  in  stating  a  problem  accurately  or  completely. The  customer  may  omit  significant  information,  confuse opinion with fact, or refuse to give personal information. To meet the needs of a customer with a negative attitude, first try to determine the cause of the problem and  then  target  why  the  customer  is  emotionally  upset. (What  caused  the  anger,  and  toward  whom  is  it directed?) You can sort this out by letting the customer express  his  or  her  feelings. The adage “The customer is always right” is not always  true.  No  customer  has  the  right  to  personally abuse a contact point representative. However, the customer who is allowed the opportunity to “blow off steam” (within reason) may then become apologetic and ready to accept your help. When faced with an upset customer, remember that your purpose is to serve the customer’s needs. Any other 3-4

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