"CATER" to the Customer
An easy to remember acronym helps frontline customer service reps keep calm and resolve customer problems.
(Boonton, NJ, July 10, 2015) In difficult customer service situations, it helps to have a game plan — a strategy worked out in advance that takes the emotion out of potentially volatile situations.
For customer service author and trainer Adam Toporek, the best strategy is to CATER to your customers. In the July issue of The Customer Communicator newsletter, Toporek explains just what he means.
To CATER to the customer you must:
C – Concentrate on the customer. Let him or her know that you are paying attention and that you will do your best to understand the issue and to resolve the problem.
A – Acknowledge the customer’s communication. Acknowledge both the customer’s feelings and the details of what was said. Repeat the information to show that you are listening and acknowledge how upset or frustrated the customer might be.
T – Thank and apologize. At a moment when it won’t seem forced or automatic, thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention and deliver a sincere apology.
E – Explain the reason why. When appropriate, offer an explanation for the problem or issue. The more valid the reason, the more likely the customer will be understanding of the situation.
R – Resolve the situation. Do everything you can to resolve the customer’s issue. And if you can’t give the customer what he or she is asking for, be prepared to offer options.
About the Customer Service Group
For more than 20 years, the Customer Service Group has helped customer service, call center and help desk managers increase productivity, improve service quality and boost customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. The Customer Service Group publishes Customer Service Newsletter and The Customer Communicator.