Difficult Customer Moments: Free Your Mind!
With more than twenty years of teaching how to handle difficult customer moments, I can attest to one eternal truth:
Both the obstacle and the pathway to handing difficult moments with customers are in the mind — our minds, not theirs.
In Difficult Customer Moments: Free Our Minds!
First and most importantly, let’s free our minds of the disdainful phrase — difficult customer — and replace it with the empowering phrase, difficult moment. This changes our outlook from one of resentment and disregard to empowered action. We don’t resent customers and who they are. We work to remedy the difficulty.
Secondly replace our desperate lament “Why Me”, with the mind freeing phrase “What If”.
What If …
- The customer has goals we don’t understand yet?
- The customer’s personality is different from ours?
- There’s an urgency we are not aware of?
- The customer has insight beyond ours?
- There are cultural differences causing stress?
- The customer simply feels confused and worried?
- The customer is pressed for time?
- Trust is still lacking?
And What If …
- We listen carefully to hear what the customer is saying and not saying?
- We adapt to the customer’s personality type to build the bond?
- We explore to detect the urgent pressure?
- We hear the need instead of an attack to learn the bigger picture?
- We let the customer set the cultural bent?
- We clear confusion to relieve the worry?
- We empathize and then get to resolving the issue?
- We do everything we can to rebuild trust?
The phrase “What if” lights up the creative parts of our brain freeing us from the emotional trap of defensiveness. When we free our minds of labels and blame, we see and hear invaluable information, alternate views, and previously undetected possibilities.
Open-mindedness transforms the difficult customer moment from heavy burden to superior customer service. Our adaptability and new thinking show the customer our professional care and that echoes throughout the customer’s community.
In difficult customer moments, silently ask yourself these what ifs. This mind freeing approach will:
- Keep you calm and caring.
- Stop you from telling the customer “calm down.” (Don’t ever say this!)
- Tool you with great questions to ask the customer.
- Improve your listening.
- Fuel you with ideas on how to resolve the problem.
- Lift your spirit and sustain your morale.
- Wow the customer with care and great service recovery.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
©2012-2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™