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This business coaching episode will teach business leaders how to handle dissatisfied customers.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Action Steps: Practice listening to an unhappy customer and giving them your full attention in order to solve the problem and grow your business.
  • How to Deal With an Angry Customer: 1. Believe
  • How to Deal With an Angry Customer: 2. Listen
  • How to Deal With an Angry Customer: 3. Fix the problem
  • How to Deal With an Angry Customer: 4. Satisfy the Customer
  • Lesson Nugget: Your worst customer can be your most loyal customer if you do everything you can to help and fix their issues.
  • Lesson Nugget: Do your best to take care of anything that pertains to your customers. Handling their problems shows that you care and value them.

amazing.com for customer service training

-Now in this customer service training, I'm not going to ask you the number because I think that's kind of a private subject. With all the business you have you probably have a complaint on a fairly regular basis. Because on a weekly basis, I mean, how many frames or how many customers do you see at the optometry place?

-Quite a few. I mean, when you put all of it together, you know, when I've got a couple hundred employees under me. And with that many and then we're all busy, I mean, you're going to get some complaints. That's the way life is.

-I bet you you see, I bet you with your businesses though, you probably see thousands of people a day between all of them together.

-Oh, yeah.

-And with that there's gotta be, even if you're having a-- I'm just making up a number --but even you had like 1/10 of 1% would be like a complaint a day.

-Sure.

-You know? Under that scenario you can't get bitter, you can't get emotional.

-Yeah.

-Do you just when you have a complaint you want to deal with it right away and then just move on? Is how you deal with it? I mean--

-I do. I mean, I think that there's a sense of urgency and making sure that you, you know, you take that and you asked earlier though what were some of the steps that I would give someone to do that?

-Yeah.

-And really you practice role play. Have one of your friends have one of your employees come at you like they're upset. It sounds kind of silly but it really helps. It really helps in your vernacular. It helps in you listening. It helps in you, you know, the believing side of it.

Because I tell you what, if you're sitting there listening to someone and they're telling you a story and you're over here texting and you're over here doing whatever and you're like rolling your eyes and you're like, yeah, whatever. You know, oh, I wait. I was listening. No, you weren't.

Put away all your distractions and practice on really listening. Have someone come in and role play that out. I think role playing in a business is so important.

So was that look like? That looks like OK, hey, I'm having a hard time dealing with complaints. So play, I want you to come at me as if you're an upset patient and let me see how I do, OK? And let me try to handle him OK? Ready? Go. And then we actually do it.

-OK. I was getting emotional. I was getting ready.

-I know. I know. You were about ready to fire up on me. And I would have take a deep breath, believe you, listen to you, and fix the problem.

-Now the final thing I want to ask and to wrap up this customer service training on how to learn from these customers that are upset, learning from complaints--

-Mm-hmm.

--- is just kind of walk me through no matter what business I have-- if I own a Dairy Queen, or if I own a furniture store, or if I own a software company. If I get a complaint your step one is?

-Believe it.

-Believe it. OK. Step two what do you want to do?

-I want to listen.

-OK. Step three what would do you think I should do?

-Well, I want to try figure out what I need to do to fix the problem.

-OK.

-Because if I believe them, then there's a problem.

-OK. Next step, what do you want to do?

-Well, I want to satisfy that customer. I want to satisfy myself that the problem's fixed. And then you've got to build that trust. Not only with the customer, but maybe an employee.

-Yeah.

-And maybe it's something physical. Maybe it has something do with the physical aspect of your--

-Your business?

-Your business. For example, I had at one of my businesses I had one of those things that stopped tires, you know, when a car pulls in?

-Yeah.

-And I guess, one of the metal pins that you drive into it to hold it in place had actually kind of come up a little bit. If a person pulls in, drives in on it then they back out and it catches their bumper.

-Rips the bumper off.

-Yeah, rips the bumper partly off. And they are upset about it. So they fire up and come in there and get me. Because I've ruined their car.

And so they come at you and you're just so you believe them. You know, and you think which, which one, where is it? 'Cause I need to fix this, right?

So you're listening to them, they're going on and on and on and on. And so you walk outside and they show you physically where it is. And you're like, oh yeah, I need to fix that, you know.

And then you kind of look at their car a little bit and you're kind of going, I'm not sure I believe 'em completely, you know. But you gotta stay focused on it.

-OK.

-And then, I said, listen I'm going to OK. Let me, here's your name, number, I'm on it. Let me figure out how I'm going to fix it but I'm on this. OK. Have a nice day. You can drive your car still everything's safe.

So then I called my attorney and said, hey, listen what are my liabilities here? Well, you're liable for it if it happened on your facility.

-Ugh.

-Called a buddy of mine that owned a automotive repair place. I said, listen, do me a favor. I'm sending this person. You know, give me a good deal on it, I need to fix her bumper, OK? So, OK.

So I called back to the person. They go in, they get it fixed. Course while they're there, then they go on to say that the battery was broken because all these other things that are broken because of it. They wanted more than what was reasonable.

And so I reasoned with then I said, listen, we did the bumper. Your bumper pulled off. We fixed your bumper. All these other things on your car's verified from my mechanic that did not happen because of my parking lot. So that's what's reasonable. OK. Reasonable. Boom. Took care of it.

-This is the stuff that happens in American business every day. This is the stuff we need to know. This is what happens every day. We need to know how to deal with it.

And I just I wanted to tell you I appreciate you for taking the time to share this stuff with me.

-Mm-hmm.

-Because I know that you could not have built the businesses that you've built. And I know first hand you have not built the businesses that you have today by treating people poorly--

-Mm-hmm

---when you make mistakes.

-Right.

-But I can also say you didn't build a great business or a great kind of an empire of businesses by never making mistakes.

-Right.

-You've made mistakes but you always fixed them and owned them and improved. And I just I appreciate you sharing the proper way to learn from customer complaints.

-Well, I learned it the old fashioned way. Trial and error. And I promise you catch more flies with honey. And the nicer you are to people, and the calmer you are, and the more you listen, and the more you believe them, and then the more you ask them with true meaning your heart what can I do to fix it and within reason, of course? Everything within reason.

But within reason you make them happy, you fix it, and you build them back up. And guess what? Now you have a patient for life. Some of my most loyal patients are the ones that we screwed up when they came in the office. And it's that opportunity to fix it and make it right.

-I have one complaint I wanted to read on camera.

-OK.

-You're too beautiful.

Thank you. Appreciate it.

-Keep Thrivin'.

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