Best Approach to Resolving Customer Concerns
The number one reason customers raise a buying question or concern is they do not have enough information to make their decision. Skilled sales teams are trained to ask questions to explore how products and services will fit into a customer’s life.
When teams approach the sales process as ‘finding the perfect fit’, customer concerns become a great starting point for customer service. A simple, four-step process can be practiced in any retail environment: acknowledge, clarify, address, and confirm satisfaction.
When you acknowledge the concern or issue, you validate your customer’s position. For example, ‘Taking on additional debt can really impact your credit and finances, so I respect your caution.’ Acknowledgement also encourages customers to comfortably offer more details about their need.
Next, ask clarifying questions to fully identify the customer’s concern. The Rule of Three can be used to help sales teams remember to ask three follow-up questions to understand any objections raised; i.e., When you say ‘expensive’, what do you mean? Is another purchase experience impacting this one? What is driving your timing?
Once you understand why the customer has a concern, you will know the best course of action. One approach may work, or you may need to engage multiple techniques to help address the issue.
- Provide a comprehensive overview for the solution.
- Share additional benefits that specifically apply to the customer.
- Recommend an alternative solution for the customer.
Remember to listen proactively when resolving customer concerns and, before moving on, always confirm with the customer that they are satisfied. Watch for signals from the customer indicating they are satisfied and ready to move on with the commitments you are requesting.
Managers and front-line supervisors should review the four steps for resolving customer concerns as frequently as possible during team meetings and 1-1 conversations. To learn more about best practices and training techniques at the Center for Practical Management, visit our website at www.cf-pm.com.
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