The ability to take a punch is one of the most critical strategic issues facing organizations these days. Learn how to view it as an opportunity to thrill your fans.
It’s not particularly pleasant when you are on the receiving end of your customer’s wrath. It can be terrifying, intimidating and painful.
Someone else is in control and your first impulse is to try and deal with the situation and escape fast.
Get it over with and escape the pain seems to be the favored response by companies these days.
The “get it over with” phase usually involves quoting company policy as the explanation for the customer’s annoyance that they should accept.
This never works as it was probably a company policy that made the customer go postal in the first place.
It’s not the frontline employee’s fault that customer complaint moments go very wrong. Organizations generally don’t understand the latent power they have if they respond the right way, and even if they did they rarely go as far as defining the specific way the situation should be dealt with i.e. the behaviors required to successfully handle the situation.
Enlightened “Be Different” organizations that strive to serve their tribes in a remarkable way and make themselves indispensable get it. They are able to turn the other cheek and realize the benefit of being bullied, harassed and beaten up by their most precious assets.
1. Realize it’s nothing personal. Your fan is angry at your organization and the way “they” have treated them. If you can’t get to an objective plane you simply won’t be able to take care of the situation. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and look at the circumstances from their point of view. Wouldn’t you be upset if you were treated the same way?
2. Treat this experience as a source of learning. You are getting the real deal. The customer is telling you really how they feel. You are getting their secrets in no uncertain terms. Listen and learn how to change policy and procedures so they serve what the customer wants instead of infuriating them.
3. Look at this as a gift of service recovery that will actually build customer loyalty. Create a dazzling moment for them by not only solving their problem but also adding the surprise factor – something thoughtful they did not expect.
4. As long as they are screaming at you they haven’t left. If your organization wasn’t serving them in any meaningful way, they wouldn’t be chastising you. They would be gone. And they would be telling everyone they connect with how rotten you are.
The bottom line is – develop your own Take-a-Punch Strategy for serving customers if you want to enjoy the financial fruits of loyal and caring fans.
About the Author
Roy Osing is a leading executive in the Canadian telecommunication industry and a recognized blogger, speaker, seminar leader, business consultant, educator and personal coach.