BY JAGDEEP KAPOOR
Parental Customer Service Prescription Hold; don't scold
When the child in the customer takes over the customers service professional needs to assume the role of the parent. He should be firm kind and understanding even holding the customers hand if need be and sterring him out of the deed my prescription parental customer service prescription says that the customer service professional must rise to the occasion in a mature manner to give the customer all the help he needs in the journey towards customers satisfaction.
There are time in the life of every customer service professional when he will find his customer behaving like a spoilt child and making unreasonable demands. The customers may throw a tantrum be stubborn sulk or behave like a spoilt little brat.
In situations like these the customer service professional must behave like a benevolent parent who holds his hand and explains the situation to him. Under no circumstances should the customer service professional become the corrective or punitive parent and scold or punish the customer.
To illustrate let me take you to a supermarket where a customer had just snapped up the last decorative waterfall. It was a beautifall little electrically controlled waterfall with a blue sky background that you keep in the living room. Anyway it was already picked up from the shelf and while the customer who had bought it was looking at another item he left it on the counter. Meanwhile another customer brash and bold walked in an on seeing it picked it up with the intention of buying it.
The customer service professional told the second customers tha the waterfall was the last piece and that another customers had already purchased it. On hearing this the second customer became adamant. He insisted that he wanted it and threw a tantrum. He babbled on about never getting what he wanted and that he would have that piece come what may. Initially it was difficult to separate the customer who was behaving like a child from his new found toy.
Bust customer service professional like a parent said that they were expecting fresh stock in a few days he volunteered to inform him as soon as more pieces arrived and even took a down the customers telephone number. Adamant to let go his new possession the second customer asked the customer service professional to promise him that he would call and only after he was reassured that he would get another piece in the next few days did he let go.
All this while the first customer waited patiently for the waterfall he had bought having pacified the second customer the customer service professional gave the waterfall to the customer who had bought it first.
What must be noted here is the role of the understanding parent that the customer service professional played. Had he yelled back at the second customer he would have only worsened the situation and have lost the customer for sure as a result of providing a bad brand experience after two days he kept his promise by calling up the customer for sure as a result of providing a bad brand experience. After two days he kept his promise by calling up the customer and ensuring that he go his own waterfall that he prized so much.
At the time when car brands were still a scarcity, Opel was launched with much fanfare. As was the practice in those days dealers gave customer allotment numbers and they had to wait their turn for delivery. In one instance the customer who had allotment number 27 got his opel before the person who had allotment number 2. to make matters worse both customers were from the same neighbourhood and it wasn't long before the customer with allotment number 2 charged into the dealership demanding to know why he had not received his car when his neighbour could flaunt his.
On investigation it transpired that number 27 had opted for a maroon opel while number 2 had booked a white one. Deliveries of maroon and blue cars were being made before white therefore the discrepancy. Unfortunately at the time of taking the booking this difference in delivery schedule was not intimated to customers. Which is why the customer with allotment number 2 was hopping mad and rightly so.
Ultimately the customer service professional at the opel dealership had to apologise to the customer and correct the allotment system.
What had happened was that the hopes of the child in the customer had been raised and only a prudent parent could steer him to safety avoiding an untoward incident and securing the sale a the same time. Had the customer service professional behaved in a matter-of -fact adult manner and yelled at the customer who had allotment number 2 chances are he would have lost the customer. Not to mention that it would have been terrible customer service on his part.
The parental customer service prescription is one in which a customer service professional must handle a customer with extreme care in order to ensure a pleasurable Brand Experience taking care not to raise his hopes without reason . the child in the customer must be kept in check and the customer service professional must behave like a parent or an elder who has the situation under control
Copyright © 2005, All rights reserved with Jagdeep Kapoor – Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
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The author is Jagdeep Kapoor, Brand Guru and Managing Director of the successful Samsika Marketing Consultancy.
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