Just a few weeks ago, our client’s app, which I was doing customer support for, experienced bugs which caused tons of errors. The app was not working as it should.
I was at the receiving end of complaints and customers’ frustrations. It went on for days - as fixing an app - is not as easy as snapping your fingers and voila - magically everything is fixed. I remained calm, answering as many app users as I can.
I asked them to give me details of the exact errors they were getting.
This of course fueled more frustration to some.
But I explained that the more details I have, the easier it is for us to pinpoint what’s causing the problem. Most of them did end up giving me detailed reports of the error they were getting - some begrudgingly. I can’t blame them. There were instances that I had to manually gather information or do manual comparisons of data and calculation. I did not hesitate doing those tedious manual work. Because I know how important those information were to them.
I thought of workarounds that can temporarily be a solution. That was my goal whenever possible.
It was the very least I could do. But as the days went on, as we were one by one resolving the errors, our client's customers - although at times lose their patience - started giving me details of the errors they are still experiencing without me having to ask and started asking if I could think of a workaround for them.
Although customer support tickets were still coming in by heaps, they were more understanding and kinder with their words. With some even empathizing with how things must be on our end. Here’s what I learned from this experience. In such situations when customer experience is already negative from the start, keep calm and more importantly, understand where your customers are coming from. If they grow frustrated, put yourself in their shoes. I bet you would lose your cool too at some point.
Customer experience is never perfect.
But how you handle situations, especially the difficult ones, counts a lot.
You have to remember that customer satisfaction is not solely about having a seamless experience. In fact, most customers remember how things unfolded or what happened especially during a complaint or already a negative situation with your customer support.
If they were treated badly - that sticks.
But if they were genuinely listened to, seen, and understood, that sticks and sticks way better.