How to handle your Customer’s 911 calls

A customer calls and leaves a message. There is an issue with what you sold them and they are definitely NOT happy.

What do you do?

  1. Do you ignore the call and hope the situation solves itself?
  2. Do wait a few hours for them to cool off before you return the call?
  3. Do you pick up the phone and call the customer immediately?
Firefighter in action
“In times of trouble, there are those who run away from the fire, and there are those run toward the fire to put it out.” – Richard Elmes
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If you work in any customer service or sales role, the best answer would be number 3.
It is when your customer has an issue, that they need you the most.
  1.  If you run away, the customer will come to the realization that you only care about your commissions from the sale and not the “solution” you sold them on. When you deal with the issue head on, you are communicating that you are there to help. You care about their success. And you want to make things better.
  2. Delaying making contact tells the customer that they are not your priority. And all customers want to feel like a priority.
    If you are tied up in a meeting or with another customer, sending a quick email or text message acknowledging that you received their message and that you will get back to them later (and state the time) will signal to your angry customer that help is on its way. This will help calm them down a bit. But this feeling only lasts a short time, and disappears completely if you fail to call them at the time you stated.
  3. When you run into the fire, by getting back to them quickly, that response time tells your customers that you care. This is the first step in handling Customer 911 calls. Yes, they may yell, scream or jump up and down, but they will still appreciate your efforts, when you prove to them that you will support your solution, and put out the fire and ultimately removing their stress.
Remember, when a customer calls us to complain about an issue, they are giving us a gift.
They are giving us the gift of fixing the issue.
They are giving us the gift of a second chance to make things right (And possibly earn the next sale).
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