Here’s a great “what if” for you. What if your guests and clients walked in with a video screen over their head, highlighting in some way, both good, and bad points in their life and worldly travels? What if you could see some things that made them the humans they are? Would you treat them differently? Would you treat them with either more, or in some cases, less compassion? It’s a big what if, I know, but it’s an important one in dealing with humans.
As I have said in previous posts, I am not here to imply a customer guest’s behavior is justified. But what if you had just a little insight in to why someone is anxious, or impatient, or extremely particular? You may take a step back before becoming upset with them, and formulate an understanding of their needs, even if just a vague one.
That person that wants everything “just right”? maybe they were raised with a ridiculous expectation of perfection. Or possibly they are in a place to make things how they want them for the FIRST TIME in their lives. What about that client who seems kind of bossy about things? Maybe they spend most of their lives being told what to do by family, bosses, and neighbors, and want to savor a moment of making the rules. As difficult as it can be, taking two steps back and empathizing with what factors created this human who you are dealing with, can not only help you deal with them without losing your sanity, it satisfies an emotional need they may or may not have even known they had. This is why I have that corny slogan “Customer service can save the world”. Those of us in the business of dealing with humans can actually be part of their healing. And in the end, you have another customer that feels safe and welcome doing business with you.
Some customers are more aware of their emotional deficiencies, and quite consciously attempt to have them filled at your business. They are a unique animal, and sometimes the most difficult to serve, but they should not be discounted simply because of their awareness of those needs. I believe they need you even more, and some will even openly appreciate your attempt to help them with those emotional needs. Some won’t. So rather than decide which ones need you for which reasons, it is best to just treat everyone as compassionately as you can.
It is not necessary for you to know the psychological makeup of your customers. I am not implying that. But if you know that there are things that made them who they are, it becomes easier to compassionately accommodate them. Unfortunately, some can’t be helped, but that should never stop you from trying. And when it comes to that person who is simply too damaged to treat you kindly, that becomes a completely different scenario which I will discuss in my next post, “When And How To Put Your Foot Down “. Until then, give them what they need.