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When you find out from a customer that one of your employees displayed unsuitable behaviour, it is not the kind of thing you want to hear, yet you should not jump to conclusions. It is wise not to say anything to the customer at this stage, at least until you have heard your employee’s version of events. There are always two sides to a story, and siding with the customer without being in full possession of the facts is never a wise move.
Establish The Facts
Obviously, you need to find out exactly what occurred and what was said by who. If there were witnesses, check that their version correlates with the two parties involved and only make a decision when you have all of the facts.
Make The Most Out Of A Negative Situation
Once you have heard both sides to the story, you can prepare your response to both the customer and the worker. Of course, it is all about damage control and using all your charm, you should be able to placate the customer, ensuring there will be no repeat. As far as your employee is concerned, a lot depends on the severity of the behaviour and whether or not you think it was intentional. It might be that the worker was stressed out about their private life, or it could have been a bad day, try to reprimand your employee in a positive manner. There is a 24 hour HR advice for employers in the UK, and even in other parts of the world, for those who need advice regarding HR matters, especially disciplinary measures.
Tip: When reprimanding an employee, end the meeting by saying something positive about them, reminding them how important they are to the organisation. The ideal outcome is for the employee to understand what happened, making sure there are no repeats, while their positive feeling about the company is unaffected.
Time Is Of The Essence
As far as an unhappy customer goes, the sooner you address the incident, the less damage to your reputation. It isn’t going to be pleasant, these things never are, but do make a point of calling the customer as soon as possible and do your best to smooth things over. Of course, you should have a disaster recovery plan in place and this would cover this type of incident. If you outsource your HR needs to a specialist agency, they can oversee every aspect of HR, while keeping you updated at all times.
Taking Disciplinary Action
In the event you feel that the employee’s behaviour was unsuitable, you might decide to take some disciplinary action, such as issue a written warning, which the HR agency can draft. It is important that any action you take complies with your country’s employment laws, which is yet another reason to hire a leading HR agency.
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It is a good idea to have regular meetings with employees to promote a good relationship and do listen to your workers, as they offer accurate feedback. Remind your team that customer relations are important. Offer incentives and above all, recognise good work.
Creating a disaster recovery plan offers many benefits and should something go wrong, you will know how to deal with it.