Work With the Customer to Develop an Action Plan
By Mike Cieri, MSIR, Vice President of Mardac Consultants
The following four-step process can be extremely effective in handling a difficult customer:
- Be aware of your personal perceptions, biases, and reactions.
- Calm the customer with basic counseling skills.
- Diagnose and analyze the situation.
- Work with the customer to develop an action plan for solving the identified problem.
Help the customer to understand the alternatives that are open to him or her as well as the consequences of each alternative. Clearly communicate company policies and/or any constraints that apply. State positively what will be done to solve the customer’s problem and when the action will take place; explain the specific procedure that will be used to follow through on the service promised.
Finally, thank the customer for the valuable feedback given to your company and encourage the continuation of open communication.
About the author:
Mike Cieri, MSIR, is Vice President of Mardac Consultants and been in the Human Resource Management field for over 20 years. During this time he has held a variety of management positions, including several years on the executive management team of a large corporation as Vice President of Human Resources and Safety, as well as Vice President of Operations.