But what about when this isn’t the case? What happens when the customer is wrong? How should business owners respond when customers are not right?
Within the last week we have had to walk this tightrope of professionalism, while deftly and articulately, trying to communicate to our customers that, contrary to what they want to believe, they are, indeed, wrong.
On three separate occasions over the last week, we have had GoToWP customers contact us insisting the plugin is broken. On three separate occasions we resent setup instructions, specifically asking the customers to verify, as a first step, that they had entered the required API keys correctly.
On all three occasions, the customers responded that they had entered the keys correctly and asked us to take a closer look. On all three occasions we logged into their WordPress and Citrix accounts and discovered the keys were either completely incorrect or they were transposed.
In these three instances, the customer was clearly wrong. But how do we, as the business owner, communicate that to the customer without totally offending them and insulting their intelligence? Some suggestions follow:
Seriously, it’s not the end of the world (most of the time) if there is a miscommunication between you and your customer. Be professional, cordial and kind in your correspondence.
Email and support forums are great, but they can also serve as hindrances to getting to the root problem quickly. Especially if there are technical issues, like the email notifications on the support forum coming in 3 weeks late(?!) (did we mention that’s why were working on Supportico?). Don’t hide behind electronic communication. Take the bull by the horns, so to speak, pick up the phone and call the customer. You’d be amazed how quickly problems can be solved by simply talking through them.
In light of three customers having the exact same issue, we have gone back to the tutorial videos and support forum posts to review how they can be improved, asking important questions along the way. Are the instructions too long? Are they convoluted? Are we assuming too much technical knowledge on the part of our customers? Are the absolute “musts” to get the plugin operating blended with other superfluous features? It is very easy as business owners, due to the familiarity we have with our products, to take for granted our customer’s knowledge of the product. It’s probably a healthy exercise to periodically challenge your assumptions and consider how you can prevent those assumptions from diluting your communication.
Those are three suggestions that have helped us navigate situations where the customer is wrong. We’d love to hear your suggestions for serving customers when they are wrong.]]>