AMiable Solution #481: How to Not Step on Your Customers’ Toes
The last thing any of us ever want to do is insult or upset our customers, new or existing. Our goal is to always be respectful of their responsibilities, their concerns, and their thoughts.
But sometimes we can do things, consciously or not, that overstep the boundaries of professionalism and respect when communicating with customers. To keep your responses in check and your feet off of your customers’ toes, keep the following tips in mind:
Be respectful of your customers’ responsibilities, concerns, and thoughts. You may or may not agree with them. You may even think they have no clue what they’re talking about. But that doesn’t mean you should dismiss them or take their issues lightly. Give them the attention and consideration that you yourself would want.
Listen. Few things are as insulting as being ignored, talked over, or humored. Really listen to what your customers are telling you, and then ask questions and offer information, solutions, recommendations, etc.
Don’t dismiss complaints you don’t agree with. You may think your team is top-notch and infallible and your products or services impeccable, but any complaint is one that deserves your complete and sincere attention.
Don’t poo-poo suggestions from customers, especially if they relate to a particular, recurring issue. Again, you may think you and your colleagues are the end-all, be-all experts, but your products and services are most successful when they’re responsive to the needs and wants of those who use them. If your customers offer a suggestion, no matter how outrageous, expensive, or far-reaching it is, accept it graciously and share it with your team.
Give credit where and when credit is due. This works for both customers and colleagues. Everyone wants to be the hero, but letting others shine when they’ve earned it not only earns you their loyalty and respect, but it also encourages others to be forward thinkers.