But when you get your way or prove a client wrong, are you really “winning” in the larger sense of the word?
In my opinion, no. When a customer finishes a service interaction feeling as though he’s “lost,” it has a number of potentially negative consequences for your staffing firm:
- At the very least, the client will have a “bad taste in his mouth” about his service experience – and your firm.
- He may even stop doing business with you.
- To make matters worse, he’s likely to share that negative experience with others.
Sometimes, you gotta lose to win.
Sure, we all want to win an argument. But to build irresistible, long-term business relationships with clients, sometimes it’s best to concede. The next time a customer riles you up, try these shareworthy service techniques to defuse the situation – and create a real win for your company:
- Check your ego. If your personality type makes it difficult for you to “lose” an argument with a client, stop thinking of conflict in terms of black-and-white. Instead, focus on the most productive way to move toward resolution – and keep the big picture in mind.
- Step into your customer’s shoes. Has the client raised a legitimate concern? Is he having a bad day? Could his business be struggling? Approach the argument from the client’s perspective and keep in his point of view in mind.
- Resist the urge to argue. Frankly, delivering exceptional service isn’t about who’s right – it’s about doing what’s best for the business relationship. Keep your calm and show empathy to deescalate a tense situation with a tough staffing client.
- Let your customer vent. Sometimes, a frustrated customer just needs to air his complaint – so try to let it roll off your back. Keep a smile on your face (and in your voice – no angry clowns, people!) and let the customer speak. Ask follow-up questions to truly understand the issue that sparked the argument.
- Start your service recovery process. Even if you’re in the right, you may have to lose the argument to keep the client. Once you understand the client’s grievance, tell him that you want to make it right. Turn an argument into an opportunity with these service recovery tips.