How many upset customers do you deal with daily? When you are in management role the “upset” customer asks to speak to you. What I have learned is that anyone can be diffused.
Your first impression to this disgruntled person is most crucial. Here are the rules I have followed and that have proven to work for me.
- Look at them in the eye and smile.
- With sincerity introduce yourself with a handshake, and say “I am here to help you.”
- Take them to your office and close the door. (This shows the importance of this conversation.)
- Ask them, “How can we fix your problem today?”
- Be an effective listener, do not “but in” some might find this disingenuous.
- Connect somehow with the customer, whether it is by finding something in common, or at least a common ground. This lets them know you are human too, not just “a mole in a corporation that is out to get them.”
- Having a calming voice when offering solutions, if the customer feels you are going above and beyond for them, even if the reason they first came in is not completely going their way, they will soften.
- Offer a solution. Never say “It is our policy.” Even if it is policy, explain the policy and why we have it in place.
- Make certain you follow through with the solution you offered, be proactive daily for the customer to make sure their concerns are addressed. A follow up phone call is a beautiful way to show you “care.”
- Know your limits, if there is no connecting with this person, if there is no solution that can be offered, lastly apologize for their situation, not the company policy. Explain how to “avoid” these problems in the future.
The art of diffusion starts with you and ends with you. You must control the situation calmly, effectively and most of all by being caring.
There are people in this world that want to “be mad” or “be dramatic.” Some of those people you will encounter and will want to run away, however, put on that smile follow the steps and you will have done the best you can do.
Not everyone in the world wants to be happy, whether it is in business, or home life. They are destined to make anyone in their life unhappy, at no cost and with no remorse. Look past those trolls and find your “art of diffusion” inside yourself. You will be “winning” in no time!