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How To Change Customer Feelings

Alan Andersen

Customers want to be acknowledged and validated, and the only way to do that is to build relationships. That’s why Seth Godin said “The only purpose of ‘customer service’ is to change feelings.”

So let’s do some activities that Bill Brooks recommends to help us develop skills we need to be customer focused.

Activity 1: Body Language

Understanding body language is a big part of learning to understand other people and it gives you the ability to serve them better. Make a list of five emotions or mental states that are commonly expressed in the workplace. Then, list at least three examples of body language that accompany each emotion.

Emotion/State of Mind #1:

Body Language:

1.
2.
3.

Emotion/State of Mind #2:

Body Language:

1.
2.
3.

Emotion/State of Mind #3:

Body Language:

1.
2.
3.

Emotion/State of Mind #4:

Body Language:

1.
2.
3.

Emotion/State of Mind #5:

Body Language:

1.
2.
3.

Activity 2: Listening and Observing

Make a point of watching three to five formal presentations that you can see on television or in person. A few examples include: the next Presidential address, a briefing on C-SPAN, a local mayoral address, a lecture at the local university, etc. Watch at least 15 minutes of each speech or lecture. Pay close attention to what the speaker is saying and how he/she is saying it.

· What are the main points?

· Why do you think the speaker is expressing them?

· How is the speaker expressing them?

· Does the speaker seem happy? Angry? Enthusiastic? Why?

· How would you demonstrate the same points? Would you do it differently? Why?

Activity 3: Deal with a Complaint

Think of two recent situations in which you had to deal with a difficult situation in which someone was complaining. This can be personal or professional.

For each situation, answer the following questions:

· Was the situation difficult from the beginning, or did it grow difficult during the course of the discussion? Why or why not?

· What was your own reaction to the tension?

· What was the other person’s reaction?

· What were you really trying to tell the other person? What were your main points?

· What was the other person trying to tell you? What were his/her main points? Can you say? Why or why not?

· What could you have done to understand the other person’s opinions or feelings better?

· What could he or she have done to understand your opinions or feelings better?

· What can you do to avoid such situations in the future? How can you handle them better?

Remember, the way to build up your customer base is by answering this maxim. (Isn’t this what our mothers told us?): “You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.”

What will you do today to build up your customer focus skills?

Your Coach,

This article previously appeared at True Life Coaching, a subsidiary of Shandel Group. If you enjoyed this post, read Shandel's book, Clarity: Focusing on What Matters.

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