When a Customer Might Be Mistrustful By VanSight
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The Situation A customer who mistrusts you is going to be a difficult customer. Some professions or fields tend to garner more mistrust than others, primarily because the customer lacks the information to determine if you are serving him or her, or being self-serving. The techniques in this example are designed to build customer confidence in your honesty. 3
Techniques Used 4 Explain Reasoning or Actions Acknowledge Customer’s Needs Pros and Cons Expert Recommendations
Dialogue 5 In this example, a car mechanic is explaining the problems found with the customer’s vehicle. The employee realizes the customer might mistrust what he’s saying and takes action to build confidence
Dialogue 6 Employee: As part of our normal vehicle check, we do a -point inspection in addition to looking at the reason why you brought the car in. We should talk about some of the other things you might want to address. Customer: [sounds dubious] OK. Employee: Since you mentioned trouble with your Brakes, that was the first thing we looked at. We found that the brake pads are 100% worn on the front. We also noticed you have a small oil leak. Customer: [Puts hand on chin, shakes head]
Dialogue 7 Employee: I’m thinking you want to keep repair costs down, since this is an older vehicle . So, I’d suggest That we replace the brake pads because [explains safety Reasons] . Regarding the oil leak, to tell you the truth It’s probably not worth repairing it. The advantage to addressing the leak is that you may save a bit of money on oil. The disadvantage is that repairing the leak will involve taking the engine apart to replace a gasket. That’s expensive. In any event, most older vehicles leak some oil. So, I’d suggest we do the brakes and keep an eye on the leak. If it gets worse down the road, we can discuss it again.
Explanations 8 The idea here is that the mechanic is presenting himself as working on behalf of the customer and not trying to raise the bill. First, he explains the process by which he identified the oil leak. Next, he proves to the customer that he understands his concerns and needs by acknowledging those needs. The most important part of this interaction lies with presenting pros and cons from the customer’s point of view. By presenting reasons why it may not be worthwhile to address the oil leak, the employee shows that he is acting in the interests of the customer, while leaving the door open for the customer to decide to have it repaired. Finally, we see the employee offer his expert opinions about what should be done.
How to Diffuse the Situation 9 Don’t assume that a customer understands the pros and Cons of various options. Often they don’t and they want Your expert (and honest, balanced) opinion. Presenting both pros and cons is critical to developing Customer confidence in your honesty.
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