When a Customer Complains About a Known Problem By VanSight
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The Situation Sometimes with a product there are problems that Employees are aware of, but have not yet been able to correct. The ideal situation is for the employee to inform customers of the problem before the customers have committed to or purchased the problematic item, but that’s not always possible. What do you do when a customer Complains about a problem that has been identified by employees and/or the company? 3
Techniques Used 4 Explain Reasoning or Actions Apologize Bonus Buyoff
Dialogue 5 In this situation, the customer goes to the service desk of a store with a complaint about the bargain computer he purchased yesterday. His concern is that the product is dented and seems to be missing some parts. This is the third such instance today. The store has determined that the entire shipment is faulty—which it discovered only after selling a number of them.
Dialogue 6 Customer: I bought this yesterday. There are at least two features missing and the top is dented. Why are you selling this junk? Employee: We only discovered a problem with the shipment this morning, so I apologize for the problem. I’ll tell you what I can do to compensate you for the inconvenience. We can exchange this item for the more expensive model, so you’ll get more features and quality for the same price. If you have a few minutes, we’ll check the more expensive model for you to make sure it’s complete. How does that sound? Customer: Well, OK. That sounds like a good deal.
Explanations 7 Notice that the employee offers a brief explanation of the Source of the problem and offers a reason why the customer ended up with a faulty unit. The explanation should be brief, because the customer is less interested in the why than having a working unit. The employee apologizes for the inconvenience, even though he wasn’t personally responsible for the problem. He makes his apology on behalf of the company. However, an apology without Compensation would be perceived as rather empty. The employee offers a means of solving the customer’s Problem by offering two bonus buyoffs —an upgrade to the more expensive model and an offer to inspect the Replacement to ensure it is in working order. Pay special Attention to the employee’s explanation of why the upgrade will be beneficial for the customer.
How to Diffuse the Situation 8 If you do not have the authority to offer a bonus and you are aware of a problem that may affect more than one customer, ask your manager for the authority to deal with this specific problem by offering a bonus. That way, you don’t have to involve the manager for each and every instance.
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