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Tip: When preparing to deal with a situation, get “up” for it first!

Tip of the Week

Tip: When preparing to deal with a situation, get “up” for it first!

A few days ago I experienced a difficult situation with the airlines that left me completely exhausted and drained.  I was trying to book some tickets for family members for a vacation.  They were coming from three different locations and I was trying to make reservations in order to connect everyone to be on certain legs of the flight together.  The entire process took four and a half hours from start to finish!  And even though the experience drained me, I took the time to immediately process what had happened when it was over.  I want to share with you ten things that I discovered that I believe will help you immensely in the event that you find yourself in a similar situation some day needing good customer service.

1.    Set aside enough time.  Before you even begin, you need to prepare yourself mentally and give yourself plenty of time to successfully accomplish your goal.  Do not start the process if you only have five minutes to give to the task or when you feel rushed.  When you are in a hurry, you tend to be “short” with other people and they can hear it in your tone of voice.  I find that thirty minutes to an hour of uninterrupted time is usually a good amount to plan for.  Now, I realize that I told you this particular situation took four and a half hours.  That is extremely unusual, but I was “up” for it and believe I was successful because I had prepared my mind and used each of these steps I am sharing with you.

2.    Have pen and paper in hand.  Do not call until you are ready to start the process with something to write on and a pen that works.  Nothing is more frustrating than to have to waste time looking for a piece of paper or pen once you have begun the conversation.  I would suggest having a notepad so you can take good notes and have them handy for future reference.

3.    Be friendly.  Set the tone in the very beginning.  Realize that the other person probably does not want to help you in the first place!  I know that may sound negative, but it is usually true.  However, if you are friendly and upbeat, you can set the tone for a good experience.

4.    Give your name.  Rather than asking for the other person’s name, be the first to give yours.  And when you do, speak clearly and slowly.

5.    Ask for their name.   When they give it to you, write it down and if their name could be spelled more than one way, like Shawn or Sean, ask for the correct spelling.  Then thank them and use their name from time to time as you continue your conversation with them.  It will show them that you are paying attention and it will also raise their awareness that you have documented their name for future reference.

6.    Show respect.  You can do this by thanking them in advance for helping you.  I usually start by saying, “Thank you so much for taking the time to take my call and helping me with this particular situation.”  By showing respect to others, cooperation, team work and respect are more likely to come back to you.

7.    Write a brief description.  Before you begin your call, write out a brief description (twenty words or less) of the situation.  This will keep you from rambling and help to keep you focused as you explain the purpose of your call.

8.    Explain your perspective.  As you explain the situation, let them know you are aware that there may be another way of looking at it, but that you are simply stating things from your own perspective.  By approaching it in this manner, you then give them the opportunity to help you better.

9.    Ask if they are the right person to help.  After you have given your brief explanation of the situation from your perspective, be sure to ask if they are the person who can help you.  You don’t want to go on and on for five minutes only to have them say, “Let me transfer you to the department who handles that.”  State the problem briefly and succinctly and then give them the opportunity to tell you whether they are actually the one who can help you or not.

10.    Find a place where you will not be interrupted.  I have occasionally gone to my vehicle with paper and pen in hand to make my call so that I will be assured of not being interrupted.  Also, many phones allow you to hit *67 before you actually dial the number so that if anyone calls while you are on the phone, they will get a busy signal.  After you hang up, your phone will go back to normal mode, but the *67 trick prevents anyone from interrupting you while you are on your phone call.

Some of you may think that all of this is ridiculous and going way overboard.  Yet, I have discovered that reducing stress in my own life and having success in situations like these requires thought, effort and energy.  I know this information works and I know it will help you the next time you are called upon to deal with a difficult situation.  If you get “up” for it in your mind first and have a plan, you will have a much better chance of succeeding in all that you do.  I hope that will be the case!

Tip: When preparing to deal with a situation, get “up” for it first!

Have a great week!  God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm

Robert Rohm

Top selling author and speaker, Robert Rohm Ph.D. is founder of Personality Insights Inc. and The Robert Rohm Co. As you will see, Dr. Rohm specializes in helping people better understand themselves and others.

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