It's All About Perspective
Whether you’re a customer or a customer-service rep …
… you’re going to have to deal with difficult conversations.
Those kinds of conversations far too often devolve into less than congenial talks, but they don’t need to.
When you find yourself needing to have one of those conversations, whether you’re initiating it or on the receiving end, you can help ease the tension and get through it more easily if you’ll take a deep breath and contemplate one simple question:
What’s their perspective on the matter?
Almost all difficult conversations have one thing in common … both of you have some skin in the game. The outcome matters … to both of you. But your difficult conversation can turn productive if you’ll take the time to consider the other’s perspective.
|Your Perspective||Their Perspective|
|It takes three minutes to get to the break room and back. You need ten minutes in the break room just to get a cup of coffee and a cookie, let alone sit down and relax.||Every minute the production line is down, the company looses over $12000 – and his supervisor is on his case about it.|
|The customer is a pain-in-your-neck. They’ve been back three times to complain about the same issue and it’s clear they don’t understand how to use the product properly.||The customer paid a pretty-penny for the widget and depends on it to work in order to finish the project. Every time the widget fails it puts him behind several hours – and his customers are on his case about overruns.|
|The dishwasher has been late three times this week alone – and each time the café has run out of coffee mugs (which means you have to wash some yourself).||The employee doesn’t make enough money to live near the upscale café, so she has to take a bus to work. If she catches the earlier bus, she has to pay the babysitter for an extra 90 minutes, which is more than she makes in two hours – plus she arrives an hour early for work.|
When you take the time to listen and to consider the other’s perspective you may discover other options open up for you … and even if there aren’t any, it may help you understand the underlying issue and perhaps even empathize. Either way, by considering an alternative perspective you could find those difficult conversations turn into relationship building opportunities.