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A What-If Arsenal Can Solve 90% of Your Customer Complaints

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 3, 2008

Sometimes customer emotions can be volatile and tempers slippery when a problem with service arises. But sending customers off to the nearest store or telling them that you can’t do anything to help is not going to cut it. Doing so will only make them more likely to avoid your company in the future. That’s why businesses need to create a "What-If Arsenal" to resolve customer complaints.

A What-If Arsenal is a stockpile of tools and techniques that helps foster a consistently superb business-to-customer interaction. It is a cache of solutions managers and employees can use to solve customer complaints. They should be at the employee’s fingertips or stored in his or her head for instant retrieval when the manager is away.

The root cause of customer problems and complaints are beyond the frontline employees’ hands and there is no way they can predict or prevent them, like a cash register malfunction or supply shortage. But employees can come to work equipped with backup plans, and be able to pull from the What-If Arsenal for solutions to make the customer feel better when the unexpected does occur.

Michael Brown
Customer Service Consultant
Los Angeles

Reader Comments


January 19, 2009 12:56 PM

Customer complaint resolution that can be converted into customer satisfaction is always important to a business. But there is no other business that it is as important as the RV business. 2 things to never forget when handling an unhappy customer that is unhappy with the way we are handling their problem, or unhappy with their RV.
1. Most of our customers use their RV only 1 to 3 times a year. They have the stress of scheduling both of their time off from work for the wife, and the husband. They have to plan the trip during school vacation and they have to pack their RV for the trip.
If they have a problem with their RV that they cannot resolve, Stevens is the culprit who ruined their vacation.
These things do happen beyond their control and beyond Stevens control, but Stevens will be blamed for their ruined
2. All the above takes place in a campground with RV's on both sides and across the street, Stevens stands the chance of being dragged through the mud
in a bad way. Then not only does the Stevens customer have a bad attitude towards Stevens RV and our employees, all the neighboring campers and motor homes as far as the ear can hear has a negative and questionable attitude about Stevens RV. Stevens cannot win
customer satisfaction too often in this
scenario, and worse we lose the opportunity to gain customer satisfacton from the neighboring campers. Stevens loses badly.
This is just one of and the most important reasons that we need to costantly elevate the level of customer service in our shop.
If Stevens is not successful at handling
this properly with a tremendous be of service attitude, we wll never be forgiven.
2. When all

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