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will  help  if  you  can  first  determine  the  cause and  target  of  the  customer’s  emotional  upset. What   caused   the   anger?   To   whom   is   it directed?  You  may  be  able  to  sort  out  this information  by  asking  leading  questions. The  old  adage  “The  customer  is  always right”  is  not  true  in  all  situations.  Personal abuse  is  not  a  “right”  of  the  customer.  But, the  customer  who  is  allowed  to  “blow  off steam”   (within   reason)   may   then   become apologetic  and  ready  to  accept  your  help. When   you   are   faced   with   an   upset customer,  remember  that  your  purpose  is  to serve   that   customer’s   needs. Any   other response  on  your  part  that  may  cause  the customer  to  become  more  irritated  is  not appropriate.  Try  to  calm  the  customer  down and  maintain  your  self-composure. If  you start  shouting  back  because  the  customer  has upset  you,  you  will  not  be  able  to  provide  the service  that  the  customer  needs.  If  you  feel that  the  customer  has  crossed  the  boundaries and  is  being  verbally  abusive  to  you,  excuse yourself and bring the problem to the attention of  your  supervisor.  Your  supervisor  has  more experience  in  dealing  with  angry  or  irritated customers  and  will  take  whatever  action  is necessary  to  resolve  the  customer’s  problem. A  calm,  confident  manner  is  the  best approach.  When  you  do  not  respond  with anger  or  rudeness  to  a  customer’s  emotional outburst,  you  have  taken  the  first  step  toward solving  the  customer’s  problem,  whatever  its nature. Complicated  Problems Most  of  the  customers  will  have  rather routine,  easily  identifiable  problems.  These problems  will  not  present  any  great  difficulty. However,   there   are   exceptions.   To   resolve   a complicated   problem,   both   the   customer   and you,  the  YN,  must  have  a  mutual  desire  to achieve  results  and  take  whatever  appropriate action  is  necessary  to  solve  the  problem.  The problems  you  encounter  that  are  beyond  your control   because   of   your   lack   of   experience must  be  brought  to  the  attention  of  a  more knowledgeable   individual,   such   as   your supervisor,  for  appropriate  action. Your Response Earlier  we  discussed  your  attitudes  toward customers, but   we   were   thinking   about customers  in  general.  It  is  not  difficult  to  be pleasant  when  you  are  dealing  with  pleasant people.  It  may  become  more  difficult  when the person is unpleasant. Occasionally,   you   will   have   a   customer who  just  seems  to  rub  people  the  wrong  way. No  matter  how  hard  you  try,  you  cannot remain  pleasant  or  friendly  because  of  the customer’s  attitude  or  manner  of  speaking.  In this  situation,  it  is  usually  best  to  keep  the contact  as  impersonal  as  possible.  Ignore  the person’s  manner  and  attitude  and  concentrate on  the  problem.  It  will  be  difficult,  but  it  can be  done. Your   performance   will   be   viewed   by   the customer, your co-workers, a n d    y o ur supervisor. If  you  are  to  do  your  best  work, as  rated  by  them,  you  must  maintain  your self-control. When   patience   runs   out   and tempers   flare,   your   ability   to   think   and   act properly  is  greatly  reduced.  Be  a  professional customer   service   representative   and   think before  you  act. PITFALLS  TO  AVOID  IN CUSTOMER   SERVICE In  the  previous  section  we  discussed  why a  good  attitude  is  important  to  customer satisfaction.   We   will   now   talk   about   some specific   mistakes   YNs   can   make   in   their handling   of   customer   needs.   For   the   most part,  these  mistakes  will  tend  to  result  from any attitudes you project toward the customer, the  customer’s  problem,  the  Navy,  your  job,  or yourself. 1-11

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