Those who shout the loudest…?

Which of these customers is complaining about a recent experience?

Actually, they all are.

People react to situations in different ways. Just because someone isn’t shouting and screaming doesn’t mean that they’re not incredibly unhappy about something. Which can make service recovery more nuanced. We often think it’s about calming a situation down and detailing your actions. But actually, for some people it’s as much about encouraging them to talk more and keeping to a big picture. Recognising how to deal with different people and adapting your style will result in a more satisfying outcome for everyone.

Tailoring Service Recovery

How well you recover your service is dependent on your customer’s preferred style:

A Panther who complains is likely to:
• Become loud and commanding.
• Be dismissive and abrupt.

Top tips for handling their complaints:
• Be clear about what they would like as an outcome.
• Be specific about what you can (or can’t) do.
• Act with pace.
• Minimise the social chatter. It’s only important when the problem is resolved.

A Peacock who complains is likely to:
• Tell everyone around them about the issue.
• Be emotional and critical.

Top tips for handling their complaints:
• Give them time to talk and allow their emotions to be shared.
• Don’t go into too much detail about what you’ll do.
• If face-to-face, move them away from others.
• Judge the right time and let some humour and social chatter to come through.

A Dolphin who complains is likely to:
• Have a serious complaint. One of the problems is that we don’t often hear from Dolphins unless it’s a big problem.
• Not want to make too much of a fuss.

Top tips for handling their complaints:
• Don’t rush them – give them time and space.
• Demonstrate real empathy – particularly with the way you listen and your non-verbal communication.
• Involve them in a possible solution. Don’t impose anything on them.

An Owl who complains is likely to:
• Go into a lot of detail.
• Show underlying frustration.

Top tips for handling their complaints:
• Ensure you understand their issues in detail. Ask confirmation questions.
• Provide real clarity about what you are going to do and when.
• Deliver exactly what you said you would do at the time that you said you would do it.

You can download a PDF version of this article here.

Service Animals™ is brought to you by SignalCX, a consultancy focusing on customer experience. For nearly 4 decades, we have worked with some of the world’s best brands to design and enable great customer experiences. The SignalCX customer experience journey will help you develop a culture that has the customer at its heart, with employees who are energised and excited and a growing body of customers who love the way that your organisation makes them feel. Apart from this lovely warm glow, you will achieve tangible, measurable and bottom-line driven results.

Service Animals has been developed and refined for the past 30 years, and has been used by almost a million people around the world. Its roots lie in the psychological theories of Carl Jung, but this model has been honed through years of work with psychologists, clients and our own team members. Service Animals is the only tool that focuses on how we all use our individual communication styles to form the service experience we deliver to customers and colleagues.

To find out more, just get in touch!