An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. It seems like that’s what makes the world go ‘round nowadays. You yell at me, and I yell at you. Then you yell louder, and I yell louder. And all that cacophony just pushes us further and further apart.
In customer service, we’re not looking for opportunities to push the other person away. We’re looking for opportunities to work with our co-worker, to work with our customer.
Sometimes through no fault of our own, these conversations or interactions start with the other person being negative, or they are being vocal – and not in a pleasant way. They’re griping and complaining and quickly firing criticisms our way.
And it’s easy for us to get defensive, to get our back up, and to respond in kind. We raise our voice. We criticize them. We get into a debate on the minutiae, or we loudly share our valid points. No matter what we do, though, if we do it in a way that is reciprocating that anger or negativity, that is not bringing us closer together or moving us forward. It is pushing us away from each other, and it is hard to get to a resolution together if we are far apart.
Instead, try kindness. Try dealing with that loud voice with a softer voice. Try dealing with that complaint with some statement of your intent to figure out what CAN be done. Try being extra courteous and polite, using their name, saying thank you, and conveying a little bit more caring and compassion.
We can dull the edge of their anger, not by responding to negativity in kind, but by responding kindly.