A dear friend of mine told me she was recently fired because, in her words, “I went off on a customer.” At the time, she worked in a very stressful environment, and her mother lay dying in hospice. Apparently, she had enough.
We’ve all had those days when we literally “can’t stand it anymore.” We know that customers aren’t always correct, that’s just for fairy tales. However, as the saying goes, “If you want them to be your customers, you will make them right.” There are just some customers who know how to “push your buttons.” They key is not to get “hooked.”
There are some simple things you can do to get you through these rough times. Remember, you’re not the only one who’s been “hooked.”
1.Try not to let everyone know how much the person annoys you. If you do, you will continue to re-live the awful feeling you have about that person. If you continue to complain, your company will see you as a pain in the butt.
2.For a minute, take yourself out of the equation and ask yourself some questions. “What has happened to me, why am I feeling so annoyed?” It’s doubtful they are angry with you; it’s likely something in the situation that is making them uncomfortable.
3.Look for the “customer’s scare.” We often use anger as a way of covering up an imaginary problem that hasn’t yet occurred. Let’s say you’re afraid your mate is going to leave you so you get angry about them going to the movie without you. I was reading an interesting blog about a woman whose boyfriend wanted to have coffee with a female friend. The woman took the situation to mean he would be leaving her and marrying the other woman! Quite a jump you might say. He even called her when he left the coffee shop and told her he was on his way home. She still couldn’t believe it was simply “coffee.”
4.If you find yourself getting angry begin to confront your own scare. What do you think the customer is saying to you, why does it make you so frightened and what do you think you have to lose? Possibly, you can’t get the merchandise to the customer on time; are you afraid you’ll be fired?
5. Take a deep breathe. Do you think the customer is out to get you? If so, what are they trying to gain? If they have nothing to gain, why are you reacting? My mother used to say, “Try and think before your speak.”
6.Is the person trying to get you to react? Have you ever had a customer bring up a tiny problem, like the delivery man was late and then ask for a discount? That’s a tactic to “throw you off the track” so they can get something they really don’t deserve. Okay, we’re not all perfect. The key is to separate yourself from the problem and think beneath your instinctive response. There lies the answer to your response.
You can’t keep customers if you do things to drive them away. (That applies to people in your life also.) If you want more information on how to diffuse your own anger, check out this link,http://bit.ly/1kFTG8T.
Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses to build loyal customers for the last twenty years. To have her speak to your company or schedule a consultation, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com or check out her web site, www.lisbethcalandrino.com.