Negotiating with Customers

Customer Service Training Resource
December 5, 2012 — 1,256 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

Negotiating with Customers

Today’s customers are savvy-shoppers who arrive for negotiations equipped with knowledge that has been gained by researching products and services online. In an effort to save money, they are also more likely to request discounts and other special services with the understanding that a company seeks to earn their long-term business and trust. For this reason, customer service professionals will benefit from the following tips for how to handle negotiations with customers.

Acknowledge Their Emotion

Often, customers arrive feeling angry or frustrated. They may have spent time on the phone being passed from one service professional to the next. They also may express their anger in the hope that it will get them what they want. Many customer service professionals will attempt to diffuse the situation by ignoring the customer’s emotions. However, acknowledging that their anger or frustration has been noticed can often quickly calm a customer down while establishing good rapport.

Determine Their Need

Every person brings their own set of needs into a negotiation. Customers are generally seeking to get a good deal on a product or service while ensuring their satisfaction. Customer service professionals are working for the company, yet are also expected to increase customer retention by ensuring their satisfaction. Many times, a negotiation can be simplified by focusing on a basic need. For example, a person may want to get the best deal on a product. From this perspective, a customer service professional can begin to work out the best way to settle on a price.

Get them Saying Yes

In a negotiation, the more times that a customer says yes, then the more likely it becomes that they will settle on a deal. For this reason, customer service professionals should try to word their questions carefully so that the customer will need to respond affirmatively. After nodding and saying yes enough, they will begin to become more acquiescent. This can lead to a faster resolution for everyone.

Negotiating with customers is a primary responsibility for customer service professionals. To be effective at negotiation, it is important to treat each customer as an individual without prejudging their needs. Then, a resolution can be reached by remaining calm and allowing the customer to say their piece. After they have expressed their needs, then a customer service professional can begin to guide them toward a resolution that will be beneficial to both the customer and the company’s goals.

Customer Service Training Resource