Thursday, February 18, 2016

How to Bounce Back from a Difficult Caller !

One of our customers - one who is really good at her job and full of joy and good will - asked us to write about this:

How do you bounce back from an encounter with a difficult Parent?

Teaching is hard. You play the personality lottery each time a new school year starts.

If you're doing your job, with the best intentions, on a regular day, feeling good about your class, your school, your progress, your attitude,--- when a difficult person ruins everything, then read on dear one.  And take courage.

The bounce back begins before the phone ever rings.  Before you pick up your defensive shield and draw back your arrow, keep these five simple points in mind:

1.  Chances are- It's not about you.  There are just a lot of angry people in the world.  There are a lot of people who are hurting on a level that cannot be imagined by you and by me. That person has no idea (nor do they care) about what kind of day you are having.

2.  Before you pick up the phone, smile.   It will magically change your disposition which can, in turn, diffuse the fussiest of callers.

3.  Be prepared to listen.  Based on years of experience in customer service, community relations, and account representation, I find that what most people want is to be heard.  Listen more than you talk.  Ask questions.  Reflect back what you hear with statements like "What I hear you saying is...."  "What you'd like to see happen is..."  "Would it be alright if I..."

4.  It's not your job to make everyone happy. Solve the problem if you can.  If you can't, let the Parent know that you don't have the solution at hand, but you will look into it and get back with them.  Then follow up.  That's your only responsibility here.  

5.  In the words of Taylor Swift, "Shake it Off." Shake the metaphorical Etch-a-Sketch to remove that unpleasant experience.  Don't give Anyone the power to ruin your perfectly good day.

Hope some of that may have helped.