Tips for dealing with Anger in the Supply Chain!
Angry people….there everywhere.
Most you can avoid.
And some, you just have to deal with!
Especially if there you’re customers or suppliers.
Which are Two of the essential ingredient’s for your supply chain or procurement company!
So Why is dealing with Anger so important for your business?
Have you ever contacted a “customer support’’ service either by phone or email and had a really negative experience?
Bet you have.
Have your angry emotions bordered on rage or thoughts of wanting to abuse that company out of sheer frustration?
Bet you have.
Did you tell your friends, share that distasteful experience through social media, leave a negative review or contact a government regulatory body.
Or simply make a commitment to NEVER EVER do business with them or their product again?
Bet you have.
Not good for business hey!
So How can you deal effectively with Angry customers or Suppliers?
Heard of Disney?
That incredibly successful business icon of Theme Parks, Movies, Cartoons, Products and people management.
They must be doing something right if they can deal with 100+ million people a year at their theme parks and still have raving fans.
Odds are they’re bound to get their fair share of irate or unhappy people!
So What Technique do they use?
A wonderfully simple technique called H.E.A.R.D.
H. Hear, it involves LISTENING.
That’s right, let the person tell their story, (and hope It’s not an never ending story!)
People who have had a chance to “let rip” with their perceived injustices usually feel better!
E. Empathize, let them know you understand their frustration.
Comments like, “I can hear how that would make you really angry”.
When you’re saying this be mindful of your tone and voice inflections or they might think you are insincere and “full of…. “!
A. Apologize, let that person know that you are sorry about the situation, product or service issue.
Saying something like “I’m really sorry that this has happened to you”.
If you know your company is not at fault diffusing the outrage by saying “ Can I offer my apologies because I’m always sorry when a customer is unhappy”.
Once again sincerity MUST be obvious.
People can detect “bullshit” a mile away!
R. Resolve, get the situation under control quickly.
Make amends, or if you can’t do it right away give that person a clear timeline when someone else will rectify the issue.
Be specific who it will be.
Give a name if appropriate.
People want to connect with people, not a “service or complaints team”.
Keep the person in the communication loop of what’s happening.
Saying something like “Mr Smith would it be ok with you if I call you back this afternoon and let you know the progress on……, what time works best for you?”
Diffuse, Diffuse and Diffuse a bit more…it works!
D. Diagnose. “Get your Detective on” and find out what happened.
Was it a product fault, wrong or late order, delayed payment or was it miscommunication and customer or supplier expectations not being met?
What systems or change in procedures could prevent or minimise these issues re occurring?
Systemic problems may need to be pushed up the food chain for attention and action.
A good manager will listen to suggestion on improvement from staff at the coal face.
After all what Supply Chain Company wants increasing complaints and the fall out from that?
Dealing with customer or suppliers complaints is often a part of doing business.
If you can mange those complaints in an ordered and sincere way then your company is going to be in front of your competition.
Because most businesses’ don’t handle supply chain anger very well at all.
Sometimes just asking that irate or angry person “How could I solve this issue for you” and LISTEN, will give you an obvious starting point for resolution.
It may not be complicated.
Taking a deep slow breath…and exhale….ahhh, that’s better!
Chris Richardson works with Managers and Supervisors of Supply Chain Companies.
He provides people management training and mentoring to help leaders manage change, manage work stress and inspire creative problem solving in their teams.
The end result is that absenteeism is reduced, productivity increases, complaints minimised and WorkCover costs get slashed.
This frees up Managers to focus on the business of customer service and create new business opportunities.