One of the biggest challenges for a salesperson is having a company, team, and process that backs up the promises they make. Sooner or later as a salesperson you will encounter a situation where you created an expectation with a customer only to find that production cannot or will not meet those expectations. This can be getting a quote out in a timely manner, responding to an operating issue, or dealing with some level of quality, delivery, and service. I will be the first to admit that sometimes salespeople are equally guilty of creating their own problems, but whatever the case, you have an unhappy customer and you’re the one that has to answer for it.
Your first instinct is to shift the blame to someone else or pass the issue onto another department to handle, but how should you really be managing the issue? Chances are that your company needs a Customer Escalation Policy (CEP). This is a process that moves your customer through a series of steps to resolve their issue as quickly and efficiently as possible. Here are the critical elements of the CEP as well as an example to help you create your own so you can improve your overall customer experience.
- Make sure the CEP identifies the process a customer is taken through to resolve issues that they cannot, or will not, address on their own.
- The CEP needs to outline the chain of command and who handles what.
- It establishes clear lines of communication.
- The CEP helps everyone to create reasonable expectations.
- It is designed to create the optimum outcome for all parties involved; including your team.