By Jane Schulte
Instead of introducing a new concept when it comes to customer service, I believe it is time to re-introduce an old twist – kindness. Back in the “day,” if you wanted to be successful in business, it was all about kindness and the way people felt after leaving your establishment or after a business transaction. That is what truly kept them coming back, even if you product was mediocre.
Let’s face it, we all want to be treated kindly in every circumstance of our life. But this seems to have gotten lost in the technologically advanced and fast-paced corporate world. But consider this. There is a way to conduct business under these stressful conditions by adopting a new “old” philosophy that will set you apart as different and unique and it doesn’t cost a dime. In fact, it saves money as people who are kind and happy are more likely to show up for work and more likely to stay with their company.
Start by incorporating empathy and compassion into your daily work life. By having the ability to look at business from the human side of things, this new business model based upon an old one can be reborn. But now it will appear fresh and new. Use the simplicity of kindness as the guide.
If you are on the fence about this, ask yourself this question: Is there a reason that each day cannot be the best possible experience for you and everyone you come into contact with? After all, the bottom line is that we are human beings dealing with other human beings who have needs that must be filled. So why not fill them quickly and happily?
By putting a new twist on “service,” everyone wins. And when people feel that they are being treated well and with respect while they are doing business with you, chances are that it will run smoothly, efficiently and expediently.
But what if you feel attacked and the person you are dealing with is harsh and unreasonable?
Here are some tips for conducting business in a kind way, even if you are in an adversarial situation:
First, look for the hidden meaning in the agenda. What is the person worried about (typically it is financial). Know that there is always a reason why someone is upset and that you have the ability to resolve the issue if you act with compassion and look at the situation from the other’s perspective before responding.
Remember that most people are not born angry. They become angry in negative situations where they feel they are threatened in some way. They are reacting due to fear.
Apologize, even if it appears unreasonable, which shows empathy for that individual’s level of stress.
Clearly state a plan of action, the timeline for accomplishing the plan and the ultimate intended goal.
Elevate to a manager who has the experience to analyze the situation and deal with the issue in an objective manner if necessary.
Remember, the desired result is a win/win for all concerned.
Everyone, regardless of whether they are the actual customer, should be treated in this manner.
Can you make someone else’s day brighter? Can you restore faith that people are inherently kind? Can you conduct business happily when you are in a less than joyful situation? The answer is yes, you can! With the right attitude and perspective, everyone can win every single time.
While kindness is not in and of itself quantifiable, it will eventually show up on the bottom line.
Jane Schulte is Executive Vice President and COO of PRISM Title & Closing Services, Ltd. located in Greater Cincinnati, and Author of WORK SMART, Not Hard! © 2008. Please visit http://www.stop-struggling.com to purchase the book and receive FREE tools on how to live your business life stree free!
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