|Customer Service Information|
Dealing with Difficult People
1. Don't get Hooked !!!
When people behave towards you in a manner that makes you feel angry, frustrated or annoyed - this is known as a Hook.
We can even become "Hooked" by the way people look, how they talk, how they smell and even by their general demeanour.
If we take the bait then we are allowing the other person to control our behaviour. This can then result in an unproductive response.
We have a choice whether we decided to get hooked or stay unhooked.
2. Don't let them get to you.
We often allow the other persons attitude to irritate or annoy us. This becomes obvious to the other person through our tone of voice and our body language. This only fuels a difficult situation.
When dealing with difficult people, stay out of it emotionally and concentrate on listening non-defensively and actively. People may make disparaging and emotional remarks - don't rise to the bait!
3. Listen - listen - listen
Look and sound like you're listening. - When face-to-face you need to look interested, nod your head and keep good eye contact. Over the 'phone - you need to make the occasional "Uh Hu - I See"
If the other person senses that you care and that you're interested in their problem, then they're likely to become more reasonable.
4. Get all the facts - write them down.
Repeat back (paraphrase) the problem to ensure your understanding and to let the other person know that you are listening.
5. Use names
A persons name is one of the warmest sounds they hear. It says that you have recognised them as an individual. It is important not to overdo it as it may come across as patronising to the other person. Make sure they know your name and that you'll take ownership for the problem.
6. DON'T blame someone or something else.
7. Watch out for people's egos
" Don't interrupt
" Don't argue
" Don't jump in with solutions
" Allow them to let off steam
" Don't say, "Calm down".
8. See it from the other person's point of view
Too often we think the "difficult" person is making too much fuss. We think - "What's the big deal; I'll fix it right away". It is a big deal for the other person and they want you to appreciate it.
You don't necessarily need to agree with the person however you accept the fact that it's a problem for them.
9. Be very aware of your body language and tone of voice
We often exacerbate a situation without realising it. Our tone of voice and our body language can often contradict what we're saying. We may be saying sorry however our tone and our body language may be communicating our frustration and annoyance. People listen with their eyes and will set greater credence on how you say something rather than what you say.
It's also important to use a warm tone of voice when dealing with a difficult situation. This doesn't mean being "nicey- nicey" or behaving in a non-assertive manner.
10. Words to avoid
There are certain trigger words that can cause people to become more difficult especially in emotionally charged situations. These include:
"You have to" -
"I want you to" -
"I need you to" -
"It's company policy" -
"I can't or You can't" -
"Jargon" or "Buzz" words -
"I'll try" -
11. Stop saying Sorry
Sorry is an overused word, everyone says it when something goes wrong and it has lost its value.
How often have you heard - "Sorry 'bout that, give me the details and I'll sort this out for you." Far better to say - "I apologise for ?."
And if you really need to use the "sorry" word, make sure to include it as part of a full sentence. "I'm sorry you haven't received that information as promised Mr Smith." (Again, it's good practise to use the person's name).
There are other things you can say instead of sorry -
The important thing to realise when dealing with a difficult person is to:
Deal with their feelings - then deal with their problem.
Using empathy is an effective way to deal with a person's feelings. Empathy isn't about agreement, only acceptance of what the person is saying and feeling. Basically the message is - "I understand how you feel."
Obviously this has to be a genuine response, the person will realise if you're insincere and they'll feel patronised.
Examples of an empathy response would be - "I can understand that you're angry," or "I see what you mean." Again, these responses need to be genuine.
13. Build Rapport
Sometimes it's useful to add another phrase to the empathy response, including yourself in the picture. - "I can understand how you feel, I don't like it either when that happens to me" This has the effect of getting on the other persons side and builds rapport.
Some people get concerned when using this response, as they believe it'll lead to "Well why don't you do something about it then." The majority of people won't respond this way if they realise that you are a reasonable and caring person. If they do, then continue empathising and tell the person what you'll do about the situation.
14. Under promise - over deliver
Whatever you say to resolve a situation, don't make a rod for your own back. We are often tempted in a difficult situation to make promises that are difficult to keep. We say things like - "I'll get this sorted this afternoon and phone you back." It may be difficult to get it sorted "this afternoon". Far better to say - "I'll get this sorted by tomorrow lunchtime." Then phone them back that afternoon or early the next morning and they'll think you're great.
You don't win them all
Remember, everyone gets a little mad from time to time, and you won't always be able to placate everyone, - there's no magic formula. However, the majority of people in this world are reasonable people and if you treat them as such, then they're more likely to respond in a positive manner.
Some more thoughts
These notes are primarily designed to help deal with difficult people when we have made a mistake. We often have to deal with other people where we have not made a mistake however the people we're dealing with often prove to be difficult and unwilling to accept what we say.
We therefore need to demonstrate assertive behaviour that helps us communicate clearly and confidently our needs, wants and feelings to other people without abusing in any way their human rights.
Some books to read
A Woman in Your Own Right - Anne Dickson
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway - Susan Jeffers
Irresistibility - Philippa Davis
Why Men don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps - Allan & Barbara Pease
Alan Fairweather is the author of four ebooks in the "How to get More Sales" series. Lots of practical actions you can take to build your business and motivate your team.- http://www.howtogetmoresales.com
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Anticipatory Customer Service: How Purpose-Driven Leadership Can Foster The Highest Level of Service - Forbes
BRIEF-NICE To Acquire Mattersight, Bolstering Its Leadership In Cloud Customer Service Analytics - Reuters
What To Do When Youve Blown It
It's bound to happen sooner or later - yes, even to you and your business. Sometime or other, you will make a blunder that upsets a customer.
5 Golden Online/Offline Business Rules To LIVE Or DIE By
Whether online or off, if you plan on running or maintaining any type of credibility within your business, there are some guidelines that are safe to say any existing or potential customer expects if they are to do immediate or future business with you.As an online entrepreneur for over 3 years I have found that even though I don't have the pleasure of meeting face-to-face with my customers, ones perception of you and your business can be viewed as good or bad all depending on the way you handle questions or comments posted by people interested in your product.
I Wont Tell My Lawyer but I Will Tell You
A general counsel of a large international consulting firm told us about his experience talking to an interviewer who had called to discuss his satisfaction level with his outside law firm. He had been using the services of a "high end, expensive" law firm out of New York.
Sorry, No Customer Service After 4:00 P.M.
A few months ago, I wrote about ingenious styles of customer service that every business should know about, mostly because their employees were inflicting them on their customers.For instance, I warned about "in your face customer service" and "run for cover customer service", two equally effective opposites.
Got A Consumer Problem?
Millions of people, just like you, end up with a consumer problem that they just can't seem to get resolved. No matter what they do.
4 Myths about Customer Value
The purpose of business is to create and retain a customer.Much has been written about customer orientation, customer relationship management (CRM), Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) metrics, Customer Centric organization models, customer retention, customer care-add any high sounding word with -customer- preceding or succeeding that word and you have a new model, a new theory.
What Every Manager Should Know About How to Learn from the Complaints of Customers and Employees
Listening to complaints, whether they're reasonable or not, is a part of every manager's job. Sometimes complaints can be overwhelming.
Create a Positive, Upbeat, Can-Do Workforce and Dazzle the Customer with Your Caring!
Given the choice of dealing with a positive, upbeat employee with a "can-do" attitude or dealing with a disgruntled, distracted, uninterested one, which would you choose? No contest. Customers always want the best experience possible; they want it to be easy and pleasant to do business with your company.
Are You Giving Your Customers Enough Reasons To Return To Your Business?
Good customer service just isn't enough anymore in the marketplace in which we live. Times are changing and business owners are learning that they need to create such an awesome customer loyalty program that they are always at the forefront of their customers' minds on a regular basis.
Post Office, Incredible Lady Postmaster
There are two Post Offices that I routinely visit. One is the office that delivers my mail and the other is frequently on the path of some daily errands.
Dont Work with Jerks: How to Recognize a Difficult Client Early
Five minutes into the call I knew this client was going to make my life miserable. The problem was, I already said "Yes.
Is Your Food Establishment Clean?
Is your restaurant, bar or hotel clean? I mean really clean. I don't mean "do you stick to all the rules and regulations?".
Client Appreciation - It Means Everything!
Want to know the secret for keeping your clients forever? And what if you could keep your revenue growing by 25 percent every year, because your clients loved the way you appreciated them? In this article, you will learn how easy it is to develop a powerful client appreciation program. Once in place, an appreciation program will forever change the way you operate and manage your business.
Poor Customer Service - Are Your Customers Driving Away Other Customers
Every customer you have is a word-of-mouth advertiser for you. Unfortunately 90% of this free advertising is negative.
Quality vs. Quantity
There is a battle in Call Centers. The teams are Quality vs.
The Reality of Customer Service in America and Best Efforts in Franchising, We Can Do Better
Yesterday I went to buy a sandwich at a franchised outlet. I thought while driving up would the owner be there to help out and save some money on labor, knowing a holiday weekend is hard to get labor.
Becoming A Solution To Your Customers Problems
Those of us in home based and small businesses are in effect selling our product. So becoming an effective salesperson is very important.
Top Ten Strategies for Delivering 5-Star Customer Service
Customer satisfaction is valuable, but customer loyalty is priceless. In today's competitive world of business, it is becoming more and more important to deliver customer service that is unbeatable.
How To Build a Profitable Business
It's never too soon to start saying thanks to your clients, vendors and referral sources for what they contribute to your business. Everyone loves to be appreciated and acknowledged, so start now and do something every month.
Automating Your Customer Support
My regular readers will know that one of the things I highly recommend doing with any online business is automating as many of your day to day tasks as possible.From a personal point of view, one of the tasks that takes up a lot of my time is answering emails.
|home | site map|