After You've Made the Customer Mad


Sinha, Madhav N.   (1991, ASQC)   Manitoba Labor, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Annual Quality Congress, Milwaukee WI    Vol. 45    No. 0
QICID: 9620    May 1991    pp. 878-883
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Article Abstract

This paper contains advice on implementing a quality improvement program to handle dissatisfied customers and to restore the company's image and reputation.

Handling angry customers is a three-step process: (1) recognizing angry customers and learning to recognize both aggressive anger and passive anger; (2) listening to angry customers and using the four key elements of listening: listening empathetically, interpreting the message, evaluating the message, and responding to the message; (3) dealing with the customer's problem by finding out what the customer wants, suggesting alternatives, sharing information, and working with the customer to determine an acceptable solution.

The five-step process for revitalizing your company's reputation includes: (1) Top management must fully support and concur with the plan to deal with the customer's anger and fulfill the customer's expectations; (2) Set standards and determine where the company stands on after-the-sale service quality and where it wants to go in terms of fulfilling promises; (3) Train the staff to handle angry customers humanely; (4) Implement the program in three stages: planning and control of the startup, motivating and directing people, and initiating complaint handling systems that use the data from complaints to improve products and services; and (5) Audit to continually improve the program effectiveness.


Human resources (HR),Quality improvement (QI),Sales,Customer satisfaction (CS)

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