You’re feeling sick. You call up the doctor.
“Doc, I’m feeling really crappy right now. Can you help me?”
“You know, I’m feeling really crappy as well. Let’s do this another day, okay?”
If the doc said that, would you credit him for being honest?
Probably not. You’d more likely be angry that he wasn’t stepping up to help you.
Just the other day, I was feeling a bit lousy myself. I opened the phone. And there it was.
A not-so-friendly message from a less-than-happy customer: “This stuff isn’t working..why??? Why does this never work???!!”
I went from feeling lousy ▶️ frustrated ▶️ angry – in a matter of seconds.
“Never working?? How can they say that? After everything we’d done for them? After they’ve gotten so much value from the product?”
An angry customer needs empathy. And patience. Not another angry reaction from me.
Seth has written about this nicely: How to deal with an angry customer.
It doesn’t matter that I was feeling lousy. The customer doesn’t care. She expects me to be my best self – whether I’m feeling lousy or great.
A professional doctor would hide their troubles and tell you: “I’m really sorry to hear that. Lemme see how I can help you”
And a professional version of me would respond exactly the same way.
I’m not doing a favor to the customer. I’m just keeping up the promise I gave when the customer first signed up: To help them whenever they need it.
So, how did I do? Did I screw up and show my authentic self? Or did I remain the professional I’d promised to be?
Let’s just say, I’m not perfect. But I’m not terrible either 🙂