This week my car’s air conditioner required service. With local temperatures hitting 100, putting this off was no option. The air conditioner was fine when I picked up my car; however, by the next day it stopped working again. Back I went. After further analysis, the service agent told me that the car needed a new condenser.
My first thought was to question whether the earlier work was necessary and whether they charged me for unnecessary work. The manager explained the situation to me in detail. He told me that the air conditioning system had two problems: a bad condenser and a leaky valve. The manager covered my questions while carefully defending his position. He convinced me that the work and the charges were legitimate. Often customers believe they get shortchanged or ripped off. As service providers we must be ready to clearly and calmly explain and defend the service we provided. When something goes wrong, we need to acknowledge it, take responsibility for it, and make amends. Otherwise, we need to hold our ground.
At times a businessperson becomes defensive or lacks the skill to defend work. The result is that a customer, even when treated fairly, walks away with negative thoughts, not likely to return.
King Solomon wrote, “Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.” (Proverbs 25:15, NIV) We need to take these challenges in the right spirit and turn them into opportunities to strengthen customer relationships.
Steve Marr Your Christian Business Coach