I was watching TV with my Mother-In-Law the other night, and I found myself asking some questions aloud. We were watching Family Feud, and sometimes I am amazed by the answers on the board. I’m sure you’ve found yourself saying, “Who did they survey that thought that was the right answer?” Well, that is what I’m here to talk about: you cannot predict what that person on the other end of the phone is going to say, but here are some ways to work with it!
The Cranky Customer: Let’s start with the one we have all talked to before. Whether the conversation starts with, “Let me give you a VIN,” or, “Hi this is Josh, how are you?” we must remember that we provide a service, and it’s not based on our customer’s or shop’s moods.
Take the time to consider – and do not take it personally – what might have happened in this person’s day before they talked to you. We need to make sure to always be ourselves, kill ‘em with kindness, and not let one interaction ruin our day. I recently talked to a shop owner whose brother had open heart surgery the previous day. Talk about a stressful thing to carry! Now, our team has made a connection over time that he felt comfortable sharing that, but what if he didn’t? You never know what is going on in someone else’s life, so choose to be that positive shining light! We are lucky enough to be able to build and develop relationships as part of our job, so do well to remember that!
The Person with No Information: Ever been frustrated by this situation? I know I have! But here is something I like to remind my team of and must remind myself of sometimes: part of what we do is continuing education for our shops, retailers, and customers. Why do people call us? Because we are the experts. It is on us to share our knowledge, know-how and processes with everyone we sell to and every one who installs our transmissions.
So, that person who needs to start a claim with no information: assure them we are there to help, let them know what we need to help them, and give them all the tools to get back to us. The retailer who is unsure of our warranty process: walk them through the steps and explain the importance and benefits to following them for the store, the customer, and us.
Sometimes these things can be easier said than done, but in those cases, refer to number one in this article. Be that person that can walk someone through the right steps to place a warranty order, how to find a tag ID on their transmission, or simply how to determine what transmission is the right fit for their vehicle. In addition, do it with pride and a smile!
When You Don’t Have the Answer: Well, we have all been here, AMMIRITE?! The important thing to remember is that you will never have all the answers. Are you new, been here a long time, or just don’t know? ASK YOUR TEAM! You should never be afraid to ask for help; customers would rather have the correct answer in a few minutes than the wrong one instantly. Something that I like to say in these situations is: “I apologize, I am not sure of the answer on this. Let me connect with my teammates so I can ensure to get you the correct information in a few minutes.” Honesty is the best policy! This is another way to build and develop relationships with our customers and shops; they know they can trust us when we do the digging and work to find the solution for them! After all, it is part of our job!
Always remember that attitude is a choice, and when working in customer service, it is a critical element of what we do. We are all flawed humans, but it is that human element that lets us create and develop relationships, which is my favorite part of what I do every day. Remember this article when you have a tough phone call, situation, or customer, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your team and managers for support and advice.