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How to Handle Difficult Customers

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Presentation on theme: "How to Handle Difficult Customers"— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Handle Difficult Customers
Aikido principles to help you redirect anger through self control and highly tactical strategies

2 What it is and how it can work for you
Verbal Aikido What it is and how it can work for you Unifying with life energy Blending with motion and redirecting energy Goal is for practitioner to defend self while protecting attacker from injury

3 Aikido Demonstrations

4 What difficult customers want
Their problem solved Helpfulness on your part To feel they have choices Acknowledgement

5 Strategically Calm Down the Attack

6 An Akidoist strategically calms down the attack
“Clearly you’re upset. I want you to know that getting to the bottom of this is just as important to us as it is to you.”

7 Psychology of Customer Anger
Anger precludes rationality Anger must be acknowledged Anger diffusion results in a lesser payout Ventilation is crucial

8 Strategically Encouraging Calm
Use a calm tone and non-inflammatory words Speak slowly Avoid escalating your voice Never threaten the customer with inflammatory statements like: “If you don’t calm down, I can’t help you.”

9 Strategically Encouraging Calm
Express empathy Not to be confused with sympathy “I realize this whole thing must be frustrating for you.”

10 Strategically Encouraging Calm
Help customers feel they have choices Very important for customers to feel they have some control over the outcomes Give them options and let them make choices, even small ones Reducing choices and removing privileges tends to encourage aggression

11 Strategically Encouraging Calm
Let customer know their feelings are important Natural calming mechanism “Thank you for taking the time to let us know about this. We appreciate the opportunity to clarify what we think has happened here.”

12 Strategically Encouraging Calm
Don’t inadvertently encourage hostile behavior Saying, “This is all I can do.” Rolling your eyes Folded arms Looking away Saying, “What do you expect me to do.” Walking away from a hostile customer

13 Adapt Adopt Apply

14 Never Meet Force with Force

15 Never respond defensively or with a counter attack
Aikido never meets force with force Never respond defensively or with a counter attack

16 What your customer is counting on…
1 When attacked, you will respond defensively 2 When attacked, you will counterattack

17 A Defensive Response I’m doing the best I can.
Sir, I work in customer service; I had nothing to do with your problem. We would never say (do) anything like that.

18 The Counterattack Stop yelling or I will hang up.
Your mother should have taught you manners. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

19 How to Respond to a Verbal Attack Non-Defensively and without Attacking, Decisive “movements”
“I’m trying to help you, but if you continue to yell and swear, I am going to ask that you call back another time. It’s up to you…which would you prefer?” “I’m sorry. It isn’t possible to help while listening to that language. If it stops, I can help.” “If a few minutes helps you calm down before we continue, that would be fine. You can certainly call me back.” “I want to help you, yet the language is getting in the way.”

20 The words alone have no significance.
Hot Buttons Disparaging statements that evoke a negative reaction. The words alone have no significance. If we allow our buttons to be pushed, our ability to handle customers diminishes.

21 Identify and Neutralize Your Hot Buttons

22 The more often you retrieve and think about your hot buttons under non-confrontational conditions, the less likely they will trigger a negative emotional response.

23 Don’t be mean when you say it.
Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Don’t be mean when you say it. 23

24 4 Things You Should Never Do With an Upset Customer
Threaten Rebut issues Belabor a point Argue

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