Monday, December 7, 2009

Why My Horse Doesn’t Smile: Learn to serve your customer

"While listening to a customer's viewpoint/ complaint it is important to confirm that whatever you heard and understood was the message he/ she wanted to communicate. Besides enabling you to understand the message/ complaint correctly, it will also give you an opportunity to rephrase your answer so as to satisfy your customer. As opposed to rephrasing your own message, whenever you rephrase the customer's words you need to be cautious. The use of inappropriate words can anger the customer and aggravate the situation. For example, saying 'You do not understand me. Let me rephrase…,' may amount to disgracing the customer. This is threatening in nature as it indirectly conveys that you are trying to say that the customer is stupid. This can spoil the entire flow of the communication. Instead you may say 'I feel I am not able to communicate the point properly. Let me rephrase it for you.' This will generate a positive feeling. Instead of doubting the customer's understanding, put the blame on yourself. You will find the customer more attentive/ receptive to your second approach, and will help you to communicate your viewpoint/ message as intended."

(Vivek Mehrotra and Neelesh Kapoor in 'Why My Horse Doesn't Smile: Learn to serve your customer,' p. 74 Viva)

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