What Would Isabel Do?
Practical advice for dealing with cranky customers and crazy co-workers without losing your mind — or your cool.
Question: How do you handle a negative coworker who seems to find the bad in everything instead of the good making it difficult to stay positive around her?
Isabel’s Answer: Attitudes are contagious. It can be difficult to work with a negative person without falling into negativity yourself.
There are many reasons a person takes a “glass-is-half-empty” view of life. One possibility is low self-esteem. As you may recall, Nikki (aka Miss Grumpy), Olivia’s co-worker in The Napkin, the Melon & the Monkey, was that type person. Once her self-esteem improved, so did Nikki’s view of life. Help your coworker build self-esteem by giving her positive feedback.
By sharing your positive attitude, you’re projecting positive energy. When others feel your energy, they’ll tend to respond in a positive way, allowing you to harmonize at the same frequency. Your positive attitude can make a difference!
A big “thanks!” to Carrie Kelly for composing this response in the spirit of Isabel.
Curious about who Isabel the wise woman is? Hint: she is a character in a customer service fable. Learn more…
Sage advice from someone who knows.
What do you say when you’ve done everything within your power to help a customer and they accuse you of not caring about them and try to make you feel guilty?
The fact is, if customers didn’t have problems, neither of us would have a job! So, in a way, each problem a customer presents to you is really a gift. Seeing your customers’ problems as gifts isn’t easy, especially when they are blaming you for their predicament.
When your customer knows you care about them they are much more willing to work with you — even when the final solution isn’t exactly what they had in mind. The best way to show you care is by listening closely and asking questions to ensure that you fully understand their situation. Often all a customer really wants is for some one to listen to their complaint and to be empathetic.
Viewing each customer’s problem as a gift is an opportunity for you to show compassion and to use your skills and experience to resolve their problem. I guarantee that when you do, your customers will be happier – and so will you!
Thanks to my friend and client,Carrie Kelly for help in writing this response as the voice of “Isabel”