When communicating with your customer base, you may make the mistake of thinking they run the show. After all, they have all the money, which you desperately want and need. They have the desire to buy from you so you naturally feel like you have to cater to their every whim.
For the most part that’s true. However, when it comes to conversations about your business, you’re actually leading the dance. If you’re not, you run the risk of causing major headaches for yourself.
Luckily, it doesn’t take much to run a conversation the way you want it. With a few simple tactics you can make your customers say exactly what you want them to say, without them even knowing it.
This is going to sound a little harsh, but it’s true. When you get a customer on the phone or in an email or wherever and they’re already hyped up it can be tough to calm them down. I’m not exempting myself – when I get on the phone and I’m mad, I’m not looking for ways to cool down. I’m looking for ways to keep the energy level going.
When I’m like this, I’m like a puppy.
Yes, a puppy! Follow me on this: puppies operate by matching your level of excitement. If you’re pumped, they’re pumped. If you’re calm, they’re calm…eventually. As soon as your voice raises or your breath quickens, they get pumped again.
The same goes for customers. If you try to match their level of intensity then you are done for. After all, they’re the ones who are mad or upset. Why are you getting upset? Because they’re upset and you want to be in the right.
The point isn’t to be right, it’s to calm the situation down and correct what you can. Always act professional and respond rationally. They may not respond, but eventually somewhere down the line the conversation will turn your way. By giving in to anger or other crazy emotions, you’re letting the customer dictate how the conversation goes.
Have you ever been to a therapist or psychologist? If not, then you’ve at least seen one on television. If they want to know more about their patient’s problems, they ask questions – but usually, the questions are just a repeat of what the patient has already said.
The reason is the patient (in your case, the customer) isn’t really listening to themselves or re-reading what they typed. They’re just upset and venting and demanding resolution.
For example, if a customer wants a refund for their broken product, they may not realize they haven’t explained the situation yet. So just repeat their demand back to them as a question.
“You have a broken product, ma’am? Can you please explain your situation?”
Later on, they say they’ve had this problem before but breeze right past the comment. So follow up with another question.
“You say you’ve had this problem before? How was it resolved last time and how can we better serve you this time?”
Bouncing the ball back to the customer actually gives you control of the situation. Don’t do it every other sentence they say, but getting them to think about what they’re saying can help you diffuse the situation much more quickly.
How do you make sure you’re the leader of a conversation with a customer?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html