Getting back on the horse after you’ve been thrown off. It sounds easier than it is.
Growing up in a farm community, I literally know what this feels like. We lived outside the city limits and had horses in the back yard. I know what it’s like to get thrown off a horse. I know what it’s like to see my sister get thrown off a horse. And it’s not fun.
Getting back on the horse, or making the phone call, or waiting on the table, or helping the person on the chat line, can be overwhelming if your last experience was one of figuratively getting slammed to the ground. You’re disoriented. You’re confused. That never happened before. Why now?
Yet the longer you wait, the more the demon inside you grows. That’s why it’s important to get back out there, and as soon as possible, debrief, train, and course correct. Get out of your head and into your body. Sometimes it’s all that’s necessary to regain confidence. At other times, more is required.
It’s possible that your team members don’t know what a great experience looks like, or sounds like, or feels like. They may have been going through the motions of providing great service, and perhaps even doing it well, but a script can only get you so far. Conversely, they may not know what the warning signs are when things are about to go off the rails until it’s too late.
That means emotional intelligence training. What are the clues to be found in your customer’s posture, or voice, or answers, or pauses? What are the signs that conflict is brewing or escalating? Turning the tables, how would you feel hearing what you just communicated to your customer, if it was directed at you?
This is far more challenging than checklist training. But there’s a significant payoff. If it’s needed, and if you’re willing make this kind of investment in your team members, the results have the potential to change your business – for good. And you will have instilled the kind of confidence in your team that will serve them in virtually any situation.
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Final installment: celebrate.