Refocus the Conversation [step 5]: 5 Steps to Diffusing an Angry Customer
Most technicians won’t bother reading our blog series on Customer Service. Why? It’s a pretty well known stereotype that technicians lack “people skills”, and it’s often true. Technically minded people, don’t like messing with people and their emotions. They’d rather get to fixing machines that turn off/on and either work or don’t work. We are comfortable in the black and white, emotions are grey and make us nervous. However, if you can become advanced in this 1 area, you will have the edge over other technicians and become more hirable to future employers. If you own your own business, training your employees on these 5 steps this will give you the edge on your competitors.
Not only can you get the jobs you want and ask for more money, but it makes you more effective as a technician. Most of the difficulty that techs have will be because their clients do not feel like they can trust their tech to resolve their issue or that they will be taken care of. If you can build good a good relationship with your clients, they’ll trust you with what you think is the best solution—and get out of your way to get work done.
If you’re not caught up, you can read the first 4 steps of this 5 part series in diffusing angry customers:
Step 1: Saying “You’re Right”
Step 2: Being Empathetic
Step 3: Keep Your Cool
Step 4: Recognizing and Dealing with Emotionally Hijacked People
Finally, Step 5. Propose and approach that refocusing the discussion.
We actually briefly touched on this in a previous post. But this is a pretty powerful social tool. We can refocus the client on solve their issue in a productive way, and get them to agree to it. You state what you need to do, then ask them if its okay for you to proceed.
John is understandably frustrated. He brought in his Mac because it’s really slow, the technician reinstalled the macOS. John was annoyed that he had to spend a lot of his time reloading his files and reinstalling his apps. However, it was a small price to pay to have his Mac working again. The first day, everything seemed fine, but today it only shows a folder with a question mark. He’s frustrated because he wasted a lot of his time yesterday, for nothing. It didn’t resolve his issue, now his computer is completely unusable, and he’s thinking about all the time he’s about to waste again. The technician is having difficulty moving forward because John just keeps wanting to talk about his frustration and isn’t moving forward in a positive way.
The technician can refocus John back on resolving his issue. Here’s what this statement might look like,
John, I want make sure that this next fix isn’t temporary and we get to the bottom of your issue, there are several elements that can cause this issue when not working properly. I think I can run some extra diagnostics and stress tests overnight tonight, then have a repair strategy for you by tomorrow afternoon. Would it be alright if I check it in (overnight) and give you a call tomorrow with the repair strategy?
That’s it. It’s that simple. In the moment, it often doesn’t feel this simple. You’ll want to actively think through this process to make sure you’re handing these situations appropriately. Tell the client that you’re going to take care of them, then ask permission to continue causes the client to refocus on the issue, but you’re also getting them to agree to move forward on resolving their issue.
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