Some of you may know the Paul Simon song from 1970 (okay so I’m older) from the album Bridge Over Trouble Water. Over the last few weeks keeping the customer satisfied has been the focus of several client conversations and the presentation I delivered recently ‘Pitch Perfect, Perfect Pitch. Most people it seems appear to believe understanding the customer and exactly how customers are motivated is important for good customer relationships.
Then this last week I’ve had three examples of really poor customer service (and I’ve checked with others each time to find out what they think, just in case). One example was over my phone number at the opticians, ‘This is my husband’s number’ – ‘But you gave it to us,’ ‘No I didn’t you give you this number. I gave you my work number.’ ‘We don’t phone work numbers. and You didn’t tell us you’ve moved.’ I haven’t moved’ ‘Well we took this number from your husband’s file’ After a long conversation I said ‘other opticians are also available’.
Another customer service issue is ongoing with a membership organisation, when I made a comment that was taken as a criticism, has yet to be resolved. This is the second time I’ve had this reaction from them. is this a pattern?
They are currently busy with something else. They will contact me next week, when I’m away every day hmm.
A note on comments on feedback –
Feedback is about raising awareness. It is about the impact of a behaviour, that may or may not be your behaviour not about you personally.
A third interesting encounter was when I put my shopping in the wrong place at one of those detestable (for me) self service checkouts and it was snatched from me, as well as the things I had in my hands. The woman in the train station newsagents then raised her voice at me because I must have looked at her incredulously. I resisted the urge to say anything. But resolved to really not go in there again.
Here’s a slide from an upcoming SlideShare upload from me on how we deal with customer/client/patient/member problems.
Contact details are http://www.developing works.com by phone 01309 676004, 01224 900748, 07796134081 (text or phone)
Ever stopped and thought about the things you say to yourself either every day or on a frequent basis?
Phrases such as –
He’s a pain in the neck
I must have a hole in my head
I keep getting it in the neck.
They’re stabbing me in the back
I need a break
And have you noticed how sometimes these things manifest themselves in reality
How you have a sore neck, sore shoulders, a headache, back ache and you do get a break, but not the kind you were thinking of getting?
One of the NLP Operating Beliefs is –
The mind and body are one system
Mind and body interact and influence one another. It is not possible to make a change in one without the other being affected.
Therefore if we consistently talk about a problem, even if we say we don’t believe it’s a real problem, over time it will manifest itself as a problem in our bodies. And the reverse is true, sometimes the physical pain is our body telling us, ‘hello, you have a problem, listen to me your body, pay attention and do something about it.
The busy person who falls badly for example because they were rushing around doing too much and ‘bang’ they have an accident. The body’s way of saying ‘pay attention, give me some time.’
I once worked with a client who came to me about controlling his anger. His language was full of phrases such as ‘I see red all the time,’ ‘I get hot under the collar,’ ‘my blood boils,’ ‘my boss gives me smouldering looks.’ I suggested for his next session he write down all the phrases he used or thought about in respect of anger and come back with a list of the phrases. He phoned me and said there far too many and he just got even angrier and very hot thinking about them.
We did eventually work together on changing how he thought and what he said.
Recently I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen for a while and I asked; ‘How are you? How’s things?’ Immediately their shoulders slumped, their head moved slightly down and forwards and they give a little apologetic laugh. It was all actually very slight and the reply I got was ‘oh, I’m just plodding along.’ They hadn’t really needed to say much their body posture said it all (to me).
‘Just plodding along?’ I queried in a ‘pass the salt tone of voice’ with great respect, no shift in tonality.
‘Yes,’ they replied and shrugged. It was like what I would call an ‘Eyeore experience’ believing other forces in the world were in control of this person. What the LAB Profile® calls a Reactive pattern waiting for something to happen to make them move on. ‘Oh well, that’s the way it is, you have to go with the flow,’ shoulders down, air of resignation. The Eyeore character (Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne originally) does this, he reacts. That’s the way things are, things happen for a reason, what can you do?
I found the ‘just plodding along’ response a little disturbing, particularly because this was at a business networking event. This person owns a business, being in a ‘reactive’ mode can mean that people believe in chance and luck, and that the current state of affairs is caused by outside forces, greater than the person is. When having or being stuck in this pattern people may spend a great deal of time in apparent inertia. At times they don’t seem to ‘get started’. They can operate with extra caution and study situations endlessly before they do anything. There are of course situations where this extra caution and studying is useful, i.e. if we need someone to analyse something but the worst case scenario is that nothing happens.
As the LAB Profile® patterns rarely appear in isolation when this Reactive pattern is coupled with Away From, recognising what should be avoided and got rid of, what they don’t want, then people will only respond to negative situations. Goal focus can become a problem they will see things getting worse, when in fact a little work and perhaps research and another option or way of doing things might be available. Add to this inertia, focus on what is wrong the pattern of consistently being convinced, that is the need to re-evaluate every day makes the person sound or become sceptical. Along with at times the habit of being lost in the detail nothing happens, shoulders slump and the ‘just plodding along becomes not just a phrase but a habit.
Do you want that habit or something different? Contact me for help, tips, suggestions, coaching 01309 676004 or 01224 900748.