Despite widespread media coverage of supply chain challenges, there are more than a few customers that don’t like to hear that you can’t deliver cabinets or other materials within their preferred timeframe. Many BKBG showrooms have received calls from angry customers who are not pleased with continual product shipping delays that have put their dreams of a new kitchen or bath on hold. What’s the best way to respond to these angry customers?
First acknowledge the reasons for their anger and empathize with their situation. Starting a conversation with an apology is an effective tool to lower the heat. There are lots of options available to you and your customer service teams. “We understand why you are upset. Given the same circumstances, we also would be angry.” This type of empathetic response illustrates that you are relating to the customer’s predicament.
Another effective tool utilized by Richard Campbell (Bath Kitchen and Tile Centers) in responding to his builder clients is to acknowledge the situation and offer to work through this predicament together. In doing so, Richard recruited his builder clients to be part of the solution.
Once you have created calm in the conversation, make sure that any commitment made is followed up. If you promise to provide weekly updates on the status of an order, make sure you do so even if the update is nothing has changed. Also, remember to thank customers for their support and understanding.
The supply chain issues and challenges are not going to be resolved in the immediate future. Developing effective responses to your customers who are affected by delays will help to maintain good relationships and ease the pain of not being able to service your customers in a manner that that they expect and deserve.