In any service-provider and customer relationships, it's not a surprise to be at the receiving end of the sevre escalation or negative feedback from the customer wherein there is very little or nothing you can do but fault is with the customer or the way they were doing the things.
Such a situation could be a result of exaggeration of the real problem or the 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, defensive and argumentative conversations, you should simply park any kind of reality checks or fact findings for time being.
This is where you can make the most out of “Benefit of doubt” and rewarding it to customers.
What is the Benefit of Doubt exactly?
Benefit of doubt is a gesture to believe someone even when you are not sure 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 intent of the customer.
When you get into a discussion with the customer in the event of escalation or negative feedback you need to ensure that you are not jeo-paradizing your positive views about the client by keeping doubts or suspicions away.
Most importantly as 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 BUT you must exercise this step only after providing the solution which is further accepted by the customer as well.
Why does the customer deserve the Benefit of Doubt?
a]. A bad day - case valid for everyone of us
It could be that bad day which the customer is going through and not able to get the things right. As a service provider, it is obvious that customers will turn towards the expectations of value delivery.
b]. Good intention and bad experience
Though the situation is being escalated by customers, it needs to be noted that - the customer has good intentions to get the job done and has no inclination towards throwing you or your efforts under the bus.
c]. Create a no-conflict zone
The biggest problem with the escalations is - it further results into more escalations, conflicts and blame games. You must stop this cycle by showing that extra empathy towards the pain being expressed by the client.
d]. Best platform to increase the trust factor
By giving that much needed benefit of doubt you not only control the situation amicably but you are turning the escalation situation into the platform to raise the bars of the trust and confidence as the customer feels more close and related to the value addition.
e]. You listen to customer to understand the issue
Benefit doubt will instill the sense for customers that you are listening to them to help them to get out of the problems and propose the solution without any trace utilizing that discussion to respond and be defensive.