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“Hug Your Haters” Lesson 3: Don’t blame the customer, focus on communication insteadJuly 6th, 2016 by
In this installment of our “Hug Your Haters: Lessons Learned” series, I take inspiration from Jay Baer on who should take the blame in difficult customer service situations and how communication plays a role in addressing these issues.
Lesson 3: Focus on communication with your customers, not placing blame
“They didn’t read the contract.”
“I clearly explained the change order process.”
You might’ve said these things before….and factually, your statements may be correct. You gave your customer a contract at the outset of the job, and it clearly stated what would happen, so now why are they complaining about it? It’s a natural reaction to pinpoint areas of fault when you think someone is complaining out of turn. But, we can’t do that if we want to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Your customer has a different perception from yours, and the information they retain as “important” may be different from what you deem “important”. No matter if you gave them a contract to read or had an initial meeting, they still may be glossing over key pieces of information that you so very clearly provided.
Their focus is on the beautiful kitchen you’re going to create for them, not that a subcontractor may be tromping through their living room to get to said kitchen. You may have clearly explained this during the very first design meeting, but a few months later, with so many details floating in their head, can you really expect them to remember?
And that’s not the customer’s problem, it really rests on your shoulders to address before it becomes a problem. Most of this can be avoided with communication. Anticipate the snags and always over communicate! Unless this is the first project you’ve ever done, you probably know where the pinch points tend to occur. Send quick reminders, have another meeting, spell it out in simple language that the homeowner can easily understand.
Don’t blame the customer when something goes wrong. Consider it a communication issue on your end, and resolve to do better the next time.
Be sure to check back next week when we reveal the final tidbit of our “Hug your Haters” series.