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B.l.a.s.t.ing Your Customers - Articles Surfing
You have opened a new restaurant, and things are working out great. You are thinking that the world is good, and customers kept pouring in, customers that are more than happy to unload their extra money on the foods you serve. Then all of a sudden you receive a phone call from an irritated customer telling you what a lousy restaurant you operate. Your first reaction is to be become defensive and support your business* name. Then all of sudden, you are deep in arguments, and the two of you are cursing each other. Soon, that belligerent customer will tell more people who will tell more people who will tell their friends that you operate a lousy restaurant. And you lose money and customers. Over what? Over one situation that if handled carefully and skillfully could have been prevented from blowing out of proportion.
Although this can happen to any business, such incidents can be prevented from becoming a big deal. Managing customer complaints do not have to be that messy. Instead, it should be met as a challenge to turn an otherwise negative situation into something positive that can further promote your business. How? Through an excellent customer service and the knowledge of B.L.A.S.T. This skill should be passed to the employees so that they can handle customer complaints properly. B.L.A.S.T. is the contraction of Believe, Listen, Apologize, Satisfy, and Thank. It does not sound too hard to do, but it can mean the whole world to any business.
It is imperative that you appreciate that customers believe that your business has aggrieved them. They might lie about it as it is a possibility, but it does not mean that you have to question them immediately. This is the keystone of managing customer complaints.
Although it is every man's instinct to defend themselves when cornered or confronted, but in businesses, this instinct should not rule you. Instead, stop and listen to the complaint given by the customer. Do not fight back. Draw in a deep breath, relax and listen. Although the customer might be belligerent and demanding, it is important that you stay level headed and calm. When he is done voicing out his complaints, repeat to him gently and in an accommodating voice what the problem was. You will convey to the complaining customer that you understood the problem and listened to them.
Say you are sorry even if you know you did not do anything wrong because from your customers* point of view, they have a justifiable complaint, and they are expecting you to apologize. Know that a simple and genuine apology can dispel any anger and frustration the customer might be experiencing. But if food poisoning is an issue, it is wiser to refer to the company's course of action when such an event occurs. Never apologize as it will mean that you are accepting guilt over the incident.
It is also important that you satisfy your customer and try to make things right. Make the right decision, but give them the chance to feel important and that they are in control of the situation. Too often you will notice that they will ask that the problem be resolved on their next trip to your business.
Always thank your customer; for calling, for complaining, for pointing out something that your business need to improve on, and for giving you the opportunity to improve your business more. Invite them back to your establishment. You can give them an unexpected gesture like an extra dish to show them that you care.
Remember, a negative attitude towards a negative situation begets a negative response. Instead, learn the trick of turning any negative situation into your advantage.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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