Sooner or later, you'll have an unhappy customer due to some fault of yours or theirs! The key is to make amends QUICKLY. Here are the steps I took recently in a small issue with a customer's job. And everything turned out perfectly with both the customer and I feeling very good about the situation.
- LISTEN WITHOUT interrupting to the customer explain the problem. Many times, the customer just wants to be heard.
- REPEAT the issue back to the customer to confirm your understanding.
- APOLOGIZE for the problem. If the problem is not your fault, apologize by saying, "I'm sorry you're not happy." This doesn't say you apologize for doing anything wrong.
- ASK what you can do to solve the problem by agreeing to some mutually acceptable solution.
- THANK the customer for bringing the issue to your attention.