QUESTIONS LEADERS NEED TO ASK CUSTOMERS 1 (Chris Clark-Epstein)

Rangkaian Artikel yang saya posting secara berseri ini saya kutip dari Buku 78 Important Questions Every  Leader Should Ask and Answer  karya Chris  Clark-Epstein. Banyak Point dan pelajaran tentang Leadership yang bisa kita ambil dari topik ini. Selamat Menikmati..

HAVE YOU ever had an unsatisfactory conversation with a customer service representative? One of those situations where you felt the person didn’t care, couldn’t do anything to fix the problem, or that the person’s answer couldn’t be trusted? Several years ago I had a particularly bad experience with an American Airlines customer service representative. I asked for and was transferred to a supervisor, and together we worked out a solution to the problem that had prompted my call in the first place. We wrapped up our conversation, and she repeated her apology for the way I had been treated.

I explained that I appreciated her words and hoped that my upcoming trip on her airline would help erase the lingering concerns I had about doing business with American Airlines. As I hung up the phone, I turned to my husband, Frank, and said, “If she’s smart, I’ll have an upgrade when I check in for my flight tomorrow.” “Yeah, right,” he replied.

Most women hate to admit when their husbands are right. Frank was. I took my flight—in coach. It was okay, as was my return trip. Not good or bad, just okay. I got home three days later and found a soggy box on the front porch. It had been delivered while both of us were out of town and left to the mercies of the northern Wisconsin late fall weather. Dumping the dripping box into the basement sink, I opened it to find ruined pastries with a note of apology from the American Airlines supervisor. I don’t think I’ve flown American since.

I’m tempted to make this a quiz. How many customer service problems can you find in this story? For now, I’m willing to skip the unreliable package delivery process, the fact that she knew I was going to be away from my home, and the absurdity of an airline sending baked goods, and go right to what I believe is the most telling part of the story. She never asked me the best and simplest customer service recovery question ever conceived: What can we do to make you

feel happy about doing business with us again? My answer would have

been “Upgrade me.” With a few keystrokes she’d have been done, and I would be writing a different, happier story for you to read. No requisition for baked goods, no delivery form to fill out, no subtract- it-from-the-bottom-line expense, and no waste of her time.

This isn’t a book about customer service. It’s a book about questions and answers. Did you get the point? A well-placed question to a customer and a questioner who listens well to the answer can, in itself, be a great customer service strategy. It can also be a great place for leaders to begin practicing their questioning skills. Leaders who do not look for opportunities to interact with a wide cross section of their customers will pay a price for this ignorance. In this chapter, you will find questions you can use as you take advantage of customer interactions. While we’re on the subject of asking questions

Not to know is bad; not to wish to know is worse.

—Nigerian proverb

of your customers, let me remind you of the warning I issued ear- lier in this book. Listening to the answers to your questions, especially when it’s your customer you’re listening to, requires skill. Take a deep breath and really listen. Listen to more than the words. Don’t be defensive and give in to the natural impulse to explain away the negative comments you hear. Accept your customer’s comments in the spirit in which they’re offered and don’t forget to say thank you. By the way, if you happen to work for American Airlines and would like to practice your questioning skills, please feel free to giveme a call.

Source :    Chris  Clark-Epstein.78 Important Questions Every   Leader Should Ask and Answer. AMACOM. 2002

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