As service providers, we go to work each day and think about the customers and colleagues we serve. We listen, ask questions, and try to understand. Then we take action to answer questions, solve problems, and satisfy needs.

When we succeed the result is a satisfied customer, which can be satisfying for a service provider, too. A customer’s smile makes you feel better. A colleague’s appreciation feels good, too. You might even earn a compliment in person or online –  a win-win for both parties. It’s a two-way street: your positive attitude and action comes back to you.

But what about when customers and colleagues are in bad moods, impatient or angry, or even hurling accusations? When that happens you need to work harder. You have shift their mood and solve their problems, put a smile back on their face and answer their questions.

This is more challenging, but can also be more satisfying to achieve. Why? Because the good feelings you create will keep on going. Because the next person they meet won’t bear the brunt of a bad mood. Your positive service action becomes a chain reaction.

For example: a customer calls you in an angry mood and lets you know how frustrated they are with a problem. Before you tackle the problem, you take time to acknowledge their feelings, listen to all they have to say, and show genuine empathy for their situation. After your patience solves the mood problem, then you go to work on their other problems. Your customer leaves with both problems solved, and the next person your customer meets feels the difference.

For example, a colleague comes to you in a huff and in a hurry. Instead than asking them to calm down, you speed up and say “I can see this really matters to you. Let me do everything I can to get this done quickly.” Your colleague sees you working top-speed and their anxiety settles down, and the next person your colleague serves feels the difference.

What if everyone embraced this point of view? What if our measure of success was not just doing our job and getting things done, but working right through the person we are serving now to touch the very next person they meet?

Surely this is a bigger task than is written in your job description. And it’s not likely to be captured in your KPIs or your bonus plan. Then, if it’s not mandatory or measured, why put in this extra effort? Why should you care about the next person your customer or colleague sees, or says hello to, or serves? The answer to this question is simple: at some point, the next person down the line is YOU.

So the next time you serve someone who is already in a good mood, just keep the good energy flowing. And when someone shows up in a bad mood, step up with your service to shift the mood and solve the problem. Be the person who takes an action that starts a chain reaction.

4 replies
  1. Tim @ Kroger
    Tim @ Kroger says:

    Turning the mood of an angry customer and making things right is a big payoff not only for me but for the company. A satisfied customer will keep coming back and will increase their loyalty to your brand. Establishing good customer service is being an ambassador capable of handling the intricate manuevers designed to resolve tense situations that stem from a bad customer experience. It usually involves how we communicate and resolve that situation professionally.
    Thanks for the reminder!
    Customer Connect

  2. Kim Leong
    Kim Leong says:

    I like the word “acknowledge” which really really means understanding and genuinely empathize the other party’s feelings and situation right before you prescribe any win-win solution. Although this skill is difficult to master but practice makes perfection !

  3. doolaree
    doolaree says:

    Dear Sir,
    I do accept that changing the mood of a negative person to positive : be it a staff, colleagues, your boss, your client, a guest in your hotel; who ever it may be on the other side of the edge whether it is profitable for your company or business or whether it enclenches a professional perfectoinalism for you… IS A MUST for every one to try .
    I will not say try but I will say it “is a must for every one to do”.If each and every one adopt a spirit of love, peace, joy, kindness,goodness and self – control which is not difficult but demand at least a little of loyalty of yourself toward you and toward the other party, then it is not profit that we will talk but immensity of income in any field whether professionality or profitability.
    That is my faith of keeping a good mood in whatever situation of life we face.
    Thanks a lot Sir to bear with me my concept of thought
    Kine regards

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