Customer Service: Problem Solving

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Dealing with issues that arise while working in almost any kind of customer service position can require quick thinking and a good knowledge of your company and product, so as to quickly and satisfactorily deal with the issue. As with many “problems” though, there can be symptoms and then the core or root problem. Getting to the root problem should be the goal, as this will make the other symptoms likewise go away. This type of problem solving is what you and the rest of the staff should work on.


When a customer calls in, for instance, they may rattle off a bunch of issues, or symptoms that they have experienced. In most cases, all of these issues can be addressed by dealing with the one root issue once it is identified. For the customer’s sake, identify the root and then simplify the situation so that the customer can understand that the issue stems from one point and can be dealt with to solve the multiple issues experienced.


Sometimes, a lot of these issues stem from an improper use of an item by a customer; and so the function of the product is compromised and issues are caused. To get to the root of the issue (if it is not initially evident) ask the customer to go through the steps they took that got them to the place where the issue occurred. Many companies, anticipating an issue like this or having already experienced such an issue, have developed a check list that you can go through with the customer to see what steps took them off course to get them to the problem area.


Dealing with customers and issues like this, you can end up walking a fine line. You must solve the problem while maintaining a professional attitude, staying within your company’s guidelines, avoiding the loss of money for the company, and yet ultimately satisfying the customer in order to retain the customer’s loyalty to the company.


Depending on the item and the company, it is highly likely that most companies have already created guidelines and support documentation to handle issues like these, so unless it is a brand new item and a brand new issue never before experienced, then there is probably already a solution available once the problem is identified. Be sure you are familiar with such support documentation, well enough to be able to quickly locate the documentation and explain the solution.


If you are in a managerial position, and have to deal with the occasional customer being passed to you for assistance, identify the problem that made the initial representative unable to properly resolve the issue. Training of all of the staff is important to allow customers to be handled quickly and efficiently so as to retain them as a satisfied customer.  


If your company is newer, then every experience like this should be a learning experience for all. Document all such service issues, and begin to compile a solutions handbook for future similar customer cases. Great customer service is essential to the growth and well-being of all companies; make sure you are part of that amazing and beneficial team known as customer service.


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