Get Comfortable With Complaints
Shut up and listen. Everybody’s:
- Got complaints
- Gonna have a problem
- Gonna have that bad customer
- Gonna have issues come up.
It’s up to you how you want to deal with it. I always had the old mentality of thinking there’s something wrong with this person complaining, I just want to get off the phone and it just ends up going nowhere. Or I’d just send it to the debt collectors and say hey handle this guy.
But I changed my mentality a few years back and I started to realise that once I started to listen to the other person on the end of the phone – instead of just trying to hang up on them or yell at them for that money – the second that I started to listen to them and started to treat them like a human being, I started to actually get somewhere. I started to make progress in the conversation and I started to realise that maybe there is a bit of a breakdown in communication.
Maybe it’s not their fault. Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I didn’t explain something clear enough or something wasn’t outlined clearly on the proposal. Or maybe the guys stuffed up on the install – who knows? At the end of the day, we all just want to be listened to.
Once you take away those things of assuming that there’s something wrong with this person, you start to see them and connect with them and understand them. My business works on people’s homes. A home is one of the biggest assets that anyone will ever own and they’ve trusted me to come into their life and make improvements.
So there’s a huge stress there and once you take that barrier down and you connect with people and you start to see them for who they really are and what they’re actually stressing out about, you build a good relationship.
I remember I had one case where I thought this person was crazy. She was going off yelling at me and my staff and my instinct was just to run away from this person and to call her crazy. The best thing I ever did was get her in the office.
I said come into the office and let’s have a chat. I closed my laptop down and we started talking. Once I started hearing her as a human being I found out that her mum died. I found out that a couple of weeks later her husband’s mum died. They had two deaths in a matter of two weeks. They had problems with their roof leaking. They had issues with our installation – I put my hand up straight away and said we stuffed up, we ordered the wrong materials.
The first thing I wanted to do was get that sorted for and to hear her out. After listening to her on a level where we could communicate – where the barriers were down and there was no yelling – was started to communicate.
I noticed her demeanor change because someone was listening to her and someone cared. She went from yelling to calm to happy. We solved her problem and you know what I bet you I’ve got a client for life now.