Remember when one of your children brought you something that had broken asking you to please fix it? Then they would ask, why did it break? You painstakingly explained why and they would look at you again and ask why? They were simply searching for a complete understanding of the situation and trusted you to help them see all sides.
Now, think back to the last time a customer returned with a defective product? Our protective wall goes up and we ask, how did you do this? We are certain it was their fault, it could not be our product’s fault. This customer must have done something careless to make it “break”. Then, once the customer is confronted, their defensive wall goes up and the not-my-fault battle commences. How are we going to improve the product (and our reputation) with this not-my-fault attitude?
We have to create a comfortable space where there is no blame game, but instead a calm discussion of why this happened. Then the actual incident can be reviewed and soon both parties know how and why the product failed to perform. Now the manufacturer can learn more about the product and the customer has a better idea of how the part should work. All with no stress.
A little bit of listening and empathy goes a long way and offers so many benefits.