Article | 2 min read

Customer conflict: how to turn “he said, she said” into perfect harmony

Last updated July 18, 2013

An unhappy customer can quickly pull multiple people and departments from your company into a vortex of anger and accusation. Heated interactions with customers are always hard, so it’s essential to get on top of the situation quickly and find out what happened in as much detail as possible. Stay calm, and start off by asking questions. Has the customer been mistreated? Was there a simple misunderstanding, or did an error occur in the system?

Our goal at Pepron is to approach these tricky situations head-on. We aim to minimize confusion and costs by promoting the idea of Customer Collaboration throughout the organization, even in business areas where traditional customer support isn’t the main focus.

The key to Customer Collaboration is being ready to quickly identify and defuse these situations, which saves time and money, and boosts both customer satisfaction and your own employee satisfaction.

Here are three steps you can take to prepare your organization to effectively handle a customer crisis before it even happens.

1. Establish a “system of record” for tracking all customer interactions, decisions, and collaborations. This way, everyone is aware of all the various interactions their fellow employees are having with a customer. What’s been promised, what’s changed, etc.

2. Document the process of dealing with customer crises during an actual crisis, so you can pinpoint flaws and identify where things aren’t working. Make adjustments so you handle it better next time.

3. Make it easy for your employees to do steps 1 & 2. Sounds simple, but you can’t be effective if your systems and processes are hard or cumbersome. Make it easy, and your colleagues will reward you with compliance.

Fortunately, business technology has come a long way in the past decade, and the tools to support your employees and your customers—like Zendesk—are easier and more effective than ever.

When there is strong Customer Collaboration, there’s little room for misunderstanding, confusion, or anger. The result? Newfound and continued harmony.

Today’s guest post was written by Henrik Heusala, who is a business consultant for Zendesk partner Pepron, a Finnish firm that helps companies across the globe effectively use the latest cloud and mobile technologies.