Here is a silly question, do you experience stress in challenging situations? Of course, we all experience stress in challenging situations. Dealing with upset customers can be one of those we dread. Someone yelling at us can be disconcerting, stressful, and can feel like a personal attack. This can lead to fear and lack of confidence and may cause us to want to avoid these situations. A loss of confidence frequently comes from a lack of skill (Baidya, 2019). Dealing with upset customers is an essential skill for organizations to protect customer loyalty and avoid an unnecessary loss of revenue and profitability.
How can we stay confident in the face of challenging and emotional customer interactions every time? The answer is to have a predictable process at the ready. MAGIC is a predictable process for managing challenging customer experiences.
We have two rescue dogs. We live near heavy woods which is the domicile of various wildlife. We have deer, wild turkeys, possum, and the dreaded skunk. Our dogs do not learn very fast. They have been sprayed four times in the past few years. Through trial and error, my wife and I have learned about a very effective antidote to the horrific smell of the skunk spray. We always keep the ingredients on hand just in case.
This past month they were sprayed again. I found myself staying calm even though I was so angry at their stupidity. I asked myself, “How I can be so calm in the face of this challenging situation?” I was able to find the ingredients, quickly mix the formula, apply the solution, and avoid seriously stinking up the house. I realized my knowledge and preparation enabled me to be calm and perform. I had a predictable process to neutralize the stench and get the dogs back to normal quickly and with little wasted time.
The key to maintaining confidence in challenging situations is to have a predictable process to calm the customer, uncover the issue, decide action, and provide a solution while protecting the relationships. MAGIC is that predictable process.
MAGIC is an acronym. The “M” stands for Make a Connection. This step helps calm the customer and is one of the most important steps to keep us confident. The “A” is for Act Professionally. This means behaving with courtesy and respect regardless of what the customer is doing or saying. The “M” and the “A” work in tandem to calm the customer and create cooperation.
The “G” is for Get to the Heart of the Matter. This is where we ask the right questions to uncover the issue and why it is important to the customer. The “I” is Inform and Clarify and gives the customer options for solutions. The “C” Close with the Relationship in Mind. This step maintains the quality of the relationship.
To remain confident in difficult situations, uncover a predictable process and use it. Be prepared. Have all the necessary ingredients at the ready and know how to “mix” them quickly. Practice if you must. Your confidence will shine through. Your attitude will shift, and the customer will appreciate it and show it with their loyalty.
Bibliography: Baidya, A. (2019, March 8). Stay Confident In Every Situation In Life: But How?
And, just in case you wanted the deskunking recipe…
Deodorizing You, Your Pets and Your Clothes
This solution loses effectiveness almost immediately, so it cannot be stored and you will need to make a fresh batch whenever the skunks attack.
Store a sealed bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a small container of baking soda (separately) up in your cupboard so you’ll be ready in case of an emergency.
- 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (from drug store)
- 1/4 cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent
Mix together the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. This is extremely effective at removing skunk smell and is actually recommended by chemists and proven to be highly effective. The hydrogen peroxide and baking soda work together to neutralize the odor, while the degreasing action of the dishwashing liquid help to remove the oily substance that contains the odor causing chemicals.
Dr. Wally Hauck is a senior vice president and co-owner of Communico. He is the author of Art of Leading: 3 Principles for Predictable Performance Improvement, Stop the Leadership Malpractice: How to Replace the Typical Performance Appraisal, Unleash Employee Engagement: 7 Initial Conditions for Outstanding Results