Friday, March 4, 2011

Dealing With The Disgruntled Customer

Gretchen Rubin wrote an article for Yahoo titled “21 phrases to use to help you FIGHT RIGHT with your sweetheart”. Now, I know, this blog and my interests are not generally considered relationship material. However, if you’ve been reading very long, you may have noticed I frequently mention that marketing is about PERSUASION and RELATIONSHIPS.

In the course of selling farm products and crafts, you might sometime have a disgruntled customer. In that case, you are in a very similar situation to a fight with your sweetheart. So I want to share some of the phrases Gretchen came up with because I think they’re excellent to defuse that disgruntled customer, too.

Oh, and if you DO have a fight with your sweetheart, they come in handy there, too!

Pick several of these that might apply in your business situation and write them on a 3 X 5 card—then practice once in a while. Practice will help you have them at the tip of your tongue where they will do you some good!

You don’t have to solve this—it helps me just to talk to you.
This is important to me. Please listen.
I overreacted, I’m sorry.
I see you’re in a tough position.
I can see my part in this.
I hadn’t thought of it that way before.
I could be wrong.
Let’s agree to disagree on that.
This isn’t just your problem, it’s our problem.
We’re getting off the subject.
You’ve convinced me.
Please keep talking to me.
I realize it's not your fault.
That came out all wrong.
I see how I contributed to the problem.
How can I make things better?
I’m sorry.

Remember, this general rule and its corollary:

The customer is always right… and your reputation will sometimes cost you something (in compromise or in money) but a bad reputation is VERY hard to repair! Happy customers are worth money in your pocket.

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