At a meeting this week, tips on dealing with difficult emotionally charged customers / clients / patients / staff / neighbors / people came up in the conversation. A very wise person in the meeting shared and it is well worth reading. These are words we all need to hear … over and over.
Give your difficult person your undivided attention.
Pay attention. When attention is paid to someone, they feel validated; they feel important. By really listening, and conveying that through body language as well as words, you can take away the person’s reason for escalating the situation.
Be non – judgmental.
It’s important to acknowledge the customers frustration and apologize for their inconvenience. Ensure that your body language and tone are non – judgmental. This goes a long ways towards calming the individual.
Show some feeling.
A feeling response might be; I understand your frustration. Let me see what I can do to help. Most likely it will elicit a response that is positive since the individual will know that the agent understands what’s happening and is willing to work on resolving the issue.
At times, allowing a moment of silence can be the best choice.
Have a team approach.
It’s easier to maintain professionalism when assistance is nearby. Support and backup are both crucial when trying to handle an escalated situation. Work to provide exceptional customer service and work together as a team.
Develop a plan.
Devise a plan before one is needed. Decisions made before an incident occurs are likely to be more rational than those made when on the receiving end of emotional outbursts. Then think about the things that are upsetting and practice dealing with those issues ahead of time.
When a customer makes a statement, you might think you know what the person means. The only way to be sure is to ask. Sometimes a question may be perceived as challenging and can make the customer defensive. Restate what you heard in order to gain clarification.
Good words to follow. Now the next lesson I need is how to keep from being that difficult emotional person / client / patient / person. You know how it is.
There are just some days that being nice seems to be so very impossible. I’ve always thought that rather than having only sick and vacation days, we also need to have Stay Away Days. Because everyone once in awhile we can do our best for society by staying home and seeing nobody.
Or is that just me?
Once in a college elementary education class my teacher, Jo Wise, stated, “There will be those days that you really aren’t feeling nice. Those students don’t deserve to be the brunt of your mood. So, do you know what you do on those days? Lay low. Just lay low.”
That was very good advice. For everyone, not just educators.
Thank you to all who came out and supported Main Street Guymon volunteers and members at the recent Main Street Awards Evening. You are good to us. You make it easy to want to work within this fine community. Blessings to each of you that give so that we can give back.
See you on the Bricks!