Why a call to the customer solves most of the problems?

by Ashvini on February 7, 2013 · 8 comments

in Management,Managing Customers,My Personal Thoughts

How often it has happened that your subordinate has exchanged furious mails with customer up to the point of confrontation, that you had to step in?

A project situation escalates due to a difference in opinion, quality of things delivered and many other things. Emails start cordially at first but soon turn nasty. Things escalate and leave project team members morale in tatters.

One of the reason such a thing happens is due to the fact that people cannot perceive what other side is thinking unless they are face to face or atleast on the face. A harmless comment or criticism may lead to contention. All the niceties then fly out of the window.

If you were a manager in middle of such a confrontation between your subordinate who is defiant and customer who wants to get things done his or her own way, what would you do.

The best way then is to make the employee pick up the phone and call the customer ( or better if possible , visit customer’s premises). People are generally nice when they see each other. After all no one likes to be called rude and offensive . The chances of resolution then gets higher. When people can’t see each other they become less polite and disrespectful often under when they are in stress.

Look at the trolls on internet. They are rudest and hide behind anonymity.

So here are the things as a manager you can do in the order of priority or teach your team members about

  1. Visit the customer
  2. Video-Con with them
  3. Talk on the phone
  4. Chat
  5. Email

As a manager you best bet is to push employees to pick up the phone and call the customer. That would save you a lot of embarrassment later on.

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Zalando May 24, 2013 at 11:12 am

It is important to interact with the customers regularly. This way, a project can be developed in time according to what the client wants. Interacting through videos is better because it makes understanding a bit more easier.

Aayna February 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Hi Ashvini,
It is always of great importance to make the customer feel elated. Problems arise everywhere, the key is how efficiently such problems and issues are tackled. If a customer has a problem, it is always good to address the issue at the earliest and get it solved. A mail or a telephone correspondence can work efficiently. Thanks for the share.

Joe Hart February 14, 2013 at 3:02 pm

This is particularly relevant for managers who have clients in foreign lands..Communication needs to be transparent else confusions starts to appear.Procuring a client is itself a difficult task and loosing him just for vague reasons will be bad for the company..In most case service provider will have to make sacrifices, put their ego aside and make the first move towards reconciliation.

Hemanth Kumar February 12, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I experienced it with my customers, and they are least bothered about the issue, when i talk to them and confirm them that I am here to solve it. you should know CRM to be a successful business. Connecting to customer is very important.

Robin J Emdon February 12, 2013 at 2:34 am

Hey Ashvini,

Yup! No question – in the era of the internet – there’s still NO substitute for the good old fashioned phone call!

Great advice!


Adrienne February 12, 2013 at 2:02 am

When I was in corporate America Ashvini we did everything by phone. If the issues was too big then they would usually make an appointment to visit us in order to get it resolved. I think that’s the only route to take. We did do email back then but for the most part the vendors that we used we didn’t communicate in that way.

I know that for me I try to communicate the best I can but sometimes things are taken out of context. It’s then that it’s time to talk either face to face or via the phone. We should never let things escalate to verbal feuds through email.

Boy do I agree on this one.

Thanks for this post and you have a great week.


Purnima February 11, 2013 at 11:36 pm

Hey Ashvini ,
Customer is the king in the market and his satisfaction is the key to success. Visiting the customer is not always possible however addressing the problems of the customer through a mail or a call is the best way communicate . Problem should be addressed at the earliest so that the customer feels that his problem has been prioritized .

Tim Bonner February 11, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Hi Ashvini

From my experience in customer service, if the customer has a complaint, then I agree communication is key. Visiting the customer isn’t always an option but certainly picking up the phone is a big step forward.

I would have been less likely to ask a team member to deal with the complaint unless they were comfortable in doing so. Generally, someone who complains wants to speak to a manager as they feel like they are having their grievances heard.

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