Handling Difficult Situations
Handling difficult situations are . . . well . . . hard. Suppose you’re the agent on an airline ticket counter.
HINT: Being defensive just to win the argument is probably not the best response!
A flight is delayed. It’ll cause some passengers to miss connections. Get ready! You know you’ll soon be faced with at least a few irate passengers. How to handle them?
Read on for some better ideas, and examples of how to apply them.
How You React To Difficult Situations Is Important
Several years ago, I connected with Sam Horn on LinkedIn. Recently, I subscribed to her newsletter and received this tidbit. In it, I find great advice for how to get along in the world. Following it, you’ll find more joy in life. Your relationships will improve with those close to you and every casual encounter you have with a human.
With a customer, your spouse, your child, or the waiter serving you in a restaurant, be conscious of how they feel. What do they want in their interaction with you? Honor those feelings and desires.
Sam’s advice is a wonderful application of Zig Ziglar’s principle in the pictured quote.
Remember this: Are you the direct or indirect cause of a difficult situation? It doesn't matter – your reaction to it is your responsibility. When someone is inconvenienced by an occurrence and is railing at you, listen! No doubt the substance of their complaint has some merit. All the innuendo they attach to it may not.
Sam's Advice When Faced With Difficult Situations
Regardless of all that, hear them out. When they’ve vented, take Sam Horn’s AAA train:
- Agree. The other person’s complaint is probably legitimate. Even if it isn’t, they’re sure it is.
- Apologize. It doesn’t matter whether you have any cause in what they’re complaining about. It’ll get you on their side.
- Act. Do whatever is available to you to make things as near right for them as possible.
Here's a hallmark of the best public-facing companies (hotels, car rental agencies, airlines, etc.). The agents who work directly with customers have a carte blanche to do what's necessary in difficult situations. To take the action to right a wrong for a customer. This has way more impact than fixing it after their complaint goes to a higher level in the company.
A slip-up that fails a customer’s needs can be a positive in the company’s image – IF it’s handled quickly and effectively. Difficult situations like these, if left alone to fester, can affect the overall image of the company.
In this advice, there are some important DON’Ts, or NEVERs:
- NEVER raise your voice or show anger or annoyance. Stay calm!
- NEVER defend your, or the company’s, role in the occurrence.
- NEVER explain why it’s not your fault.
In every interaction, strive to find a way to defuse anger and help the other person get what they want. Print Zig Ziglar’s principle – “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” – and post it in places where you’ll be reminded of it at critical times. As with any other habit, this may take a lot of effort at first. It can become second nature for you.
Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern.
A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!
Eric Lofholm is my friend, mentor and sales coach. He hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day and a few holidays. The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for it here. You'll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or later in a recording.
How do you react in the face of someone’s complaint? Think Sam Horn’s suggestions might improve your life experience? Want to talk about it? Reply to this message or click here if you'd like to chat on the phone.
Do you like The Unity Community?
Do you find value in the articles?
What's good about it?
What would make it even more valuable for you?
Suggestions for topics in future issues? Do you have something you'd like to contribute? It can be your work…or someone else's. I'll give you and the author ample credit for your contribution if I use it.
Your thoughts, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Reply to this message, or go here if you'd like to chat on the phone or Zoom.
Do You Know Someone Who'd Like This?
Forward it to them with the FORWARD feature in your email program.
Did someone forward this to you? Would you like to subscribe (free)? Send me your email address and tell me you'd like to subscribe.
Want to Do More Business?
Suppose you go to a networking event. You're amazed to find all your ideal prospects waiting to talk with you.
Our Business Accelerator Platform gives you this kind of exposure to your market. These are the people you want to help!
We find your ideal client prospects and start conversations with them. Then we communicate your value. We get them to schedule appointments with you…all on autopilot. This can happen for you! Learn how here.
When you join Smart Money Network's Business Accelerator Platform, we:
- Optimize your LinkedIn Profile Page so it better attracts people in your market.
(Hint: What painful issue do you resolve for your clients? If your LinkedIn profile describes how you make your clients' lives better, it's rare! Most describe the merchant's qualifications and expertise. They say little about what he/she does to remove clients' pain.)
- LinkedIn has 740 million members. We find the few thousand who match your ideal client profile. You define your best prospect for us. Then we go find them.
(Even if you can find these people by yourself, it will take hours away from your work with your current clients.)
- Invite about 100 of these best prospects every week to connect with you on LinkedIn.
- Send a welcome message to those who accept your invitation and connect.
(Typically 15% or more. Currently, over 25% of those I invite are connecting!)
- Deliver something of value to them from you, and then do it again!
- Begin a “drip campaign” of carefully timed messages, providing more value. These messages give…give… give…and then ask. No pitches!
All these messages come from you personally. We want and expect your input in developing them…unless you want us to just do it. You can follow the threads and adjust your messages as you see better ways to engage your prospects. We're always ready to talk with you about improving your messaging.
See a “hot” prospect you want to engage with your unique message? Take over the exchange manually!
Click here to learn how you can put this program to work for YOU!
Would You Like to Publish a Newsletter Like This One?
Want new ways to engage your prospects and clients? Unity Copywriting writes the materials that help you stay top of their minds. Let's discuss how these materials can help you with your marketing!
Leave a Comment