Join Jeff Toister for an in-depth discussion in this video Tending to emotional needs, part of Working with Upset Customers.
- Customers have two basic needs. They're rational needs, which is what a customer needs us to do for them. For example, they might want us to fix a billing error on their account. Customers also have emotional needs, this is how a customer wants to feel about the service they're receiving. When working with angry or upset customers taking care of their emotional needs is a top priority. Our primary goal should be to help them feel better. This video will show you how to identify and address those emotional needs.
Let's say a customer experiences a billing error. Try to imagine some of the negative emotions they might experience, they might feel concern or anxiety because the problem has to do with money. They could feel anger or frustration that the problem occurred or that it hasn't already been fixed. They might even feel embarrassment if they were partially to blame for the problem. Let's look at what happens when a coffee shop barista doesn't do a good job of considering his customer's feelings.
(clearing throat) - Hey, can I help you? - Yeah, you guys screwed up my drink order again, I was here two days ago and you did the exact same thing. I asked for four pumps of vanilla, you gave me like maybe two. - Well, it's not my fault your drink got screwed up last time, I wasn't even here two days ago, so. - Whatever, you're here today. Four pumps of vanilla, how hard can that be? - Let's take a look. Yeah, pretty sure I put four pumps in here.
Definitely a latte vanilla, miss. - Well, there's not enough of vanilla. - Well, if you wanted more vanilla you should have just asked for more pumps. I can put more in here but there's definitely four pumps of vanilla in this. - Look, when I get a vanilla latte from my other coffee shop down the street they always put in four pumps and it's perfect. This is too weak. - They probably use a different syrup that's not as good as ours. - Look, they're vanilla lattes taste fine to me. Could you just fix it, please? - I can put more vanilla in this if that's what you really want.
- Yeah, that's what I really want. - Alright. Okay, here you go. Have a good day. - Yeah, whatever. - Okay, that didn't go too well. The barista completely ignored the customer's emotional needs. He also let his own emotions get in the way of taking care of the customer's rational needs.
Now, let's see what the scene would had looked like if the barista had done a better job at making the customer feel better. (clearing throat) - How may I help you? - Yeah, you guys screwed up my drink order again, I was here two days ago and you did the exact same thing. I asked for four pumps of vanilla, you gave me like maybe two. - Well, I'm sorry we didn't get it right but I'd be happy to remake it for you and add more vanilla. - Yeah, I just don't understand why this keeps happening, like four pumps of vanilla, how hard can that be? - Yeah, I know, I completely understand.
I'm actually a peppermint person myself, can't get enough of it. This was a vanilla latte, right? - Yeah, not bad. - Okay, you hang on to this one, I'm gonna make a new one, that way we can do a little taste test afterwards and make sure I get it right. Cool? - Okay. - Hmm, you usually get four pumps of vanilla when you order a vanilla latte from us, right? - Ahmm, I always get four pumps from the other coffee shop down the street. - They might make the lattes differently than we do but I'll tell you what, I'll add five pumps of vanilla to this one and see if that makes a difference.
- Okay. - [Barista] Great. Alright, see how this goes. Let me know if there's enough vanilla in there. - Yeah, this is much better. - [Barista] Great! So, next time you come in here make sure you ask for five pumps of vanilla, that way we can make it just the way you like it. - Okay. What do you want me to do with this one? - I mean, you can hang on to it if you'd like or I'd be happy to toss it for you.
- Ahmm, I guess I'll keep it. - Great. Well, you know, again, I'm sorry we didn't get it right the first time but really glad we figured out the right formula. - Me too, thanks. - Yeah, have a good day. - [Customer] You too. - The interaction went much better this time around. The customer went up and the barista didn't get overwhelmed by his own negative emotions. We'll come back to these two scenes throughout this course, as we progress I'll point out specific things the barista did wrong in the first scene and the tactics he used to get a better result the second time around.
I'll also show you how you can use these tactics when working with your own upset customers. And I'll point out some tactics that you can use to serve customers over the phone or via email, chat or other written communication.
- Listening with empathy
- Helping the customer be right
- Preserving the relationship
- Learning from angry customers
- Passing along complaints
- Replacing trigger words