Cooler Heads Prevail
Business relationships can be
complicated. Over the years, I
have seen more than one
screaming match involving
associates. I was once yelled at
by an otherwise pleasant woman
who knew I was not the source of
her problem. A person she had
previously worked with had not
followed through with an
important task, and I was the
bearer of the bad news. I'll be
honest; I was surprised she knew
all the words that she used. To
her credit, she used each word
I have a
temper, but I learned early in
business it does not pay.
Maintaining my composure and
listening (it was not easy or
comfortable) to everything the
woman had to say allowed her to
vent and prevented the situation
from escalating. Her husband
later thanked me for my
professionalism. She did not.
As I mentioned, I have a
temper, so I understood where
the woman was coming from. When
we discover that someone we
trusted abused that trust, we
naturally become angry. When a
customer is angry, the last
thing we need to do is add fuel
to the fire.
volatile situation with a
customer is crucial to
maintaining our reputation. An
angry customer may never do
business with you again. If you
participate in a contentious
discussion, you risk losing more
than just one customer. Avoid
looking at the issue like an
argument that you can win and
focus on the source of the
customer's anger. Solving the
problem of an angry customer
would be ideal, but first, we
have to dissolve the volatility.
It is not what is said or
done to us but how we react that
determines the outcome. So, stay
calm, apologize, and look for a
solution. If you haven't done
anything wrong, you can still
apologize for the situation.
"I'm sorry if I have done
anything to make you angry. That
is the last thing I wanted."
Explain that you value them
and want to solve the problem
together. "We appreciate your
business and want to work with
you to find a solution we can
both live with."
can get tricky. Present a
solution that you believe may be
agreeable to your customer. If a
solution is not apparent, ask
your customers what outcome
would satisfy them. Fulfill
their request if at all
possible. Be honest with your
customer if you cannot achieve
ability to solve the problem is
unclear, ask your customer for a
reasonable time to look into the
issue. If your customer agrees,
do not delay; gather the
information needed and respond
The only way to
win this type of argument is to
retain the customer. It does not
matter who has the better
position or comes out on top. If
you can preserve the customer
relationship, you win.
Just For Grins
- Politicians seriously
need a speed bump between their brain and their
- Have you ever met the
human version of a head ache?
- What have we learned
from cows, buffalo, and elephants? It's impossible
to lose weight by eating grass, salads, and
- My one wish in life is
a sarcasm font.
- I would like to be the
kind of person my dog thinks I am.
- Okay. So I danced like
no one was watching. My court date is pending.
- It's OK if you
disagree with me. I can't force you to be right.
- In order to insult me
I must first value your opinion... Nice try
- I get paid to be nice
at work. I can't comprehend why my friends and
family think I should do it for free.
- I keep clicking "I
accept cookies", but they never show up.
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