We recently had our first snowfall in Indiana. I have to admit, snow doesn’t typically bring out the best in me. Where some people see beauty, I see cold, icy roads that eventually lead to wet slush and traffic delays. So as I was sitting in traffic that morning watching while people remembered how to drive on this slick stuff, the dreaded realization hit that the months ahead will likely be filled with more snowfalls and traffic muddles. In that moment, I knew I had a decision to make. I could either focus on the less thrilling aspects of snow, or I could focus on the positive aspects. So I decided to hone in on the fact that although sunny days seem to be few and far between during the gray days of winter, snow brightens everything! Snow is essentially “sunshine from the ground up” (even though it is COLD sunshine!) It’s amazing how that simple change in perspective has improved my whole outlook on winter. Not only does the choice to view things positively alter the amount of joy and peace in our personal and professional lives, this attitude is contagious and can usher another person into that same positive train of thought.
For example, what happens if you tell a client that you can’t get a product to them by their ideal deadline? Are they unhappy? Or upset? Would they be less likely to be upset if you told them when you could get that product to them? Consider these two responses:
“I’m sorry, that item is not available so I won’t be able to get it to you by Friday. In fact, I can’t get it to you until Tuesday.” (The focus is on what cannot be done)
“Although this item is currently out of stock, I can get it ordered today so that it’ll ship tomorrow, and we can get it in your hands by Tuesday.” (The focus is on what can be done)
Which of these statements would you rather hear? Not only does this simple switch in focus enforce how the representative can help (which pleases the client), but it also creates a less stressful conversation, which makes it much more enjoyable for the representative.
As we embark on all of the adventures 2010 will bring, make the choice to breathe life into your customer relationships. Shift your perspective to the positive and focus on how you can help the client. The end result will be a happier customer and a happier employee!
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