Super customer service has little room for regret. What we say to customers and how we say it leave lasting impressions. We can wound them with scars that last forever or we can use caring people skills to avoid laying an egg.
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In tough moments with customers, how can we speak with great people skills instead of later regretting and hoping for that elusive second chance?
We can take a lesson from everyday life!
Author Jackie Hooper has written a wonderful book, The Things You Would Have Said, compiling letters from people who regret having said bad things or regret not having said caring words.
As I watched the feature on the book on CBS Sunday Morning and heard people reading the words of regret for what they said or hadn’t said, I immediately thought how we could use this lesson for super customer service.
Responding with care instead of defensively reacting is much easier IF we are thinking about the after effects. Ask yourself what you wish you’d said to a customer before you lost them — just as Jackie asked people to do for those they treated poorly.
Instead of regretting, envision what you would write in an “I wish I’d said” letter of regret and say that instead of the defensive snips. Super customer service requires people skills that deliver care even in the toughest moments!
Find empathy by imagining regret.
The stress relief you feel by snapping at a customer is short lived. It is quickly followed by regret and feeling for the customer as they receive your outburst. Reverse the regret process and feel the empathy from the beginning. If you feel stuck, adapt don’t attack.
Imagine the caring you not the ego-controlled you.
Many regrets are born of the need to be right, the need to be better than, the need to be selfish. In other words, regrets are born of the ego.
Imagine yourself being great in service not needing to be right. Imagine yourself sharing control not having control.
Those who deliver super customer service, revel in helping others to succeed and thus they succeed. Their desire to care overrides their ego. They are humble enough to learn from the customer and don’t feel humiliated by the customer. They don’t say things to customers that they will regret for they envision receiving that very same care.
Treat customers well the first time else there may not be a second time. Defensive thoughts and communication lead to regret. Stay open. Show empathy. Explore the customer’s view. Empathy doesn’t mean you agree. It means you matter, we matter, this matters! Through empathy you find how to wow each customer with care.
The old saying, the customer’s always right, has led some to rebel and claim it isn’t true. From there, they justify confronting the customer and saying things to prove the customer wrong.
The debate about that adage is out-of-date and quite worthless. What we all need to remember is that we may not get a second chance from customers we’ve treated badly. Think about it: Why would anyone pay money to be treated with impatience, rudeness and disrespect?
Empathize, explore, and stay open to customers’ views. Live no regret about customers for there may be no chance to write that letter and get them back.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
Other Super Customer Service Posts:
Super Customer Service: Use Great People Skills to Deliver vs Defend
Customer Service Defined to Be Unforgettable
Super Customer Service: Be a Buoy
Customer Service People Skills Create Profitable Connection!
©2013 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. 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.