When doing business, conflicts are at times unavoidable. However, there are good ways and bad ways to handle conflicts that may arise with our customers.
Here are 5 simple tips to resolve conflicts:
1. Stay calm
The first step to take when a conflict arises is to stay calm. It may be difficult to do, but this is one of the most important steps. Many employees lose their professionalism once a customer registers a complaint. When this happens, the situation may worsen instead of improve. Take a deep breath and think rationally instead of emotionally.
2. Determine the problem
See the conflict from both sides: the company’s side and the customer’s side. Never attack the customer. Instead, attack the problem. If the issue is the low quality of the service provided, focus on that. If the conflict is about some misunderstanding between the company and the customer, talk it out.
Sometimes, customers know that there is nothing you can do as an employee but what they want you to do most is to listen. They want their opinions as customers to matter. Acknowledging the problem sincerely can make a lot of improvements in resolving the conflict.
4. Always offer suggestions on how the conflicts may be resolved
Offering ways to resolve the conflict show that the customers are important and valuable to the company. Escalate the problem to your superiors if needed.
5. Focus on the future, not on the past
It’s easy to fall into the game of ‘Who’s to blame’. However, this will not solve anything. Finding out which one of the parties is wrong is going to worsen the already bad existing relationship. Instead, apologise if you are wrong. Offer a refund if you have to.
Want to get better at your career? Visit the Institute of Management website to find out more about our courses on Customer Service.