Step 3: Execute

When you have a solution on paper it’s time to follow through. Do exactly what you said you were going to do, Williams says.

“If you tell a customer you’ll call back tomorrow with more information, you have to call them back — even if you don’t have more to tell them,” he says. “The customer wants to know that you’re going to do what you’ve set out to do.”

“Customers want to be kept in the loop, and if you can make them feel like you have an open dialogue and you’re working off the same sheet of music you can develop confidence and trust in your process,” says Riemer.

Follow the timeline you created during your meeting with the customer.

If you hit a snag and risk falling behind, let the customer know. If the repair is going to cost more than estimated, let the customer know.

Get approval on each step before moving forward on your path. And if your customer has concerns at any point, or re-escalates the conflict when trouble occurs, go back and discuss it, Voyles says.

One conflict is bad enough, but angering a customer while working toward a solution puts you at risk of losing that customer forever.

“Sometimes you have to start peeling back the onion,” Mulshine says. “You have to go through the bill one line at a time” until you find the exact source of their concern.

And just like Steps 1 and 2, document everything.

There are business systems available in today’s market that will automatically send updates to customers (through their preferred method of communication) when you update their repair order, assuring them that the job is moving forward as planned.

“When customers realize that data is available their eyes light up,” Riemer says.

Also make sure copies of your records are provided to the customer at the conclusion of the conflict. Proof of your efforts reduces the likelihood of another callback.

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