The more engaged customers are, the more
more likely they will keep coming back.

By Nicole Attias

What is true empathy? Does he hear what the consumer is saying and wait for him to calm down? When dealing with any customer, it is imperative that franchisees put themselves in their guests’ shoes to get a full understanding of the situation. That said, practicing excellent customer service becomes even more challenging in the retail industry, where dealing with end users is an emotional experience. So what’s a franchisee to do? Consider the following:

1. Speak with positive language and tone

When customers are unhappy with errors or unresolved issues, a manager’s behavior can be a deciding factor in the outcome of the situation. On the phone, a franchisee might be tempted to tell an upset customer to stay calm; however, this will only exacerbate the situation. In these circumstances, it is best to remain silent and let the client vent, while taking notes as they speak. Once the rant stops, an owner can ask questions about the situation in a positive way. In addition, the owner must reassure the consumer that he will find a reasonable solution to the problem. On the other hand, if a franchisee is not in a good mood, they should avoid answering phone calls, as an annoyed tone can create a bigger problem. Also, when addressing an issue in person, maintain good eye contact and body language with the customer.

If a franchisee is not in a good mood, they should avoid answering phone calls, as an annoyed tone can create a bigger problem.

2. Use his name

Having morning coffee in the same place every day can be comforting when treated warmly. That said, most people want to feel important, especially in today’s world where simple courtesies have been forgotten. Therefore, owners should treat their customers with such jokes. Hearing his name subconsciously signifies a high level of importance and also creates interest in repeat business. It’s important to remember this because a purchase is often based on feel and not necessarily determined by price.

3. Listen

Hearing an angry customer walk into a company store is not pleasant. In such cases, the owner should play the role of a therapist. Also, it is important to remain silent until the client is ready to hear a response; when responding, it is important to use a calm tone with empathy. The situation will serve as a learning experience and help an owner improve their business.

4. Learn to say “no”

Managers should exercise caution if placed in a situation where they have to say “no” to a client. In many cases, an upset customer doesn’t want to hear a franchisee say, “I’m sorry, but we can’t do this for you because it’s not our company policy.” That said, it might be best for an owner to say “no” by apologizing and offering alternative solutions with a smile. Genuine sincerity cannot be faked and usually customers can quickly tell if a franchisee cares about their issues and keeping their business going.

There are many helpful ways to deal with customers effectively, especially when handling a difficult situation.

5. Tracking

Excellent customer service not only solves problems that arise in day-to-day business, but also extends beyond the transaction that just took place. Therefore, following up with a client a few weeks after a discussion can help build long-term trust in the business and the owner – don’t take this step for granted. It’s amazing how many established relationships can be lost through neglect.

Final Thoughts

There are many helpful ways to deal with customers effectively, especially when handling a difficult situation. However, once the trust between a client and a manager is broken, it is extremely difficult to repair. Franchisees must continually prepare for future encounters. Focusing on customers will help ensure an owner’s long-term success.

Nicole Attias is a sales representative at Colliers and has extensive business development experience, from cold calling to industry networking. His skills include writing articles and cases, delivering presentations and public relations. Attias is also an entrepreneur who has worked in different industries prior to real estate including: recruiting and corporate training and helping companies grow their customer base. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) (Honours) in Psychology from York University, a Leadership Certificate from Seneca College, and has attended Toastmasters International for public speaking training.

Previous

S&C Electric Company Announces New Canadian Commercial President

Next

Canadian business leaders Calin Rovinescu and Mitch Garber support Jaunt Air Mobility | SUAS News

Check Also