You must do more than show a positive attitude
toward your job and the customer; you must also show
respect for the persons need for service. Disrespectful
comments, such as the following, indicate that the
customers 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 didnt know!
You were supposed to be here yesterday.
Well get to it.
Case Number 3 illustrates the effect of disregarding
the customers 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 couldnt 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 couldnt 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
representatives solution. In reality, that is not always the
Trying to meet a customers 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 customers problem and
your efforts to provide a solution.
Coping With a Negative Attitude
Regardless of the nature or seriousness of a
problem, a customers 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 customers 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 customers needs. Any other