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Benefit of doubt

In any service-provider and customer relationship, it's not a surprise to be at the receiving end of severe escalation or negative feedback from the customer, wherein there is very little or nothing you can do. Still, the fault is with the customer or their actions. 

Such a situation could result from exaggerating the real problem or mere frustration. In any way, this has to be resolved without getting into the defensive or argumentative modes of the discussions.

Primary Goal of the CSM should be to resolve issues or provide measurable assistance to the relevant customer teams on priority with the latest possible ETA and clear action items.

To avoid any scope of the conflict, and defensive and argumentative conversations, you should simply park any reality checks or fact findings for the time being.

This is where you can make the most out of the “Benefit of the doubt” and reward it to customers.

What is the Benefit of the Doubt exactly?

The benefit of the doubt is a gesture to believe someone even when unsure about their genuineness. This gesture should be awarded while not being judgemental or suspicious but trusting the person. It also demands that - you assume the good intentions of the customer.

When you discuss with the customer in the event of escalation or negative feedback, you need to ensure that you are not jeopardizing your positive views about the client by keeping doubts or suspicions away. 

Most importantly, a Benefit of Doubt will create a pace for you so you can compassionately let the customer know about the reality check of the issue. Still, you must exercise this step only after providing the solution that the customer further accepts.

Why do customers deserve the Benefit of the Doubt?

a]. A bad day - case valid for every one of us

It could be a bad day the customer is going through and cannot get things right. As a service provider, it is evident that customers will turn towards the expectations of value delivery.

b]. Good intentions and bad experience

Though the situation is being escalated by customers, it must be noted that - the customer has good intentions to get the job done and has no inclination toward throwing you or your efforts under the bus.

c]. Create a no-conflict zone

The biggest problem with the escalations is - it further results in more escalations, conflicts, and blame games. It would be best if you stopped this cycle by showing extra empathy toward the pain being expressed by the client. 

d]. The best platform to increase the trust factor

By giving that much-needed benefit of the doubt, you control the situation amicably and turn the escalation situation into a platform to raise the bars of trust and confidence as the customer feels close and related to the value addition.

e]. You listen to customers to understand the issue

The benefit of the doubt will instill the sense in customers that you are listening to them to help them get out of the problems and propose the solution without utilizing that discussion to respond and be defensive. 

3 minutes