Pretty much everyone hates nasty surprises!
Bad news sucks!
We all experience pain and suffering at the hands of Auto-Mechanics (I’m at Lincoln Ford of Franklin and just got the news I need new brake pads and tires), doctors, REALTORS, Dentists, and the worst part about all this is that surprises NEVER seem to show when we have the patience, time, or money to deal with them . . . otherwise, they wouldn’t be – well – SURPRISES!
Our only emotional regulators are adopting a mentality of expecting to be surprised – ALWAYS . . . as we keep our eyes on our surprise barometers 24/7.
These surprises do NOT have to ruin our days. So often, the difference between a “TRAIN WRECK” and an “inconvenience” is in the presentation of said surprise.
As service providers, we can turn our FULL attention towards our surprised clients and with appropriate empathy show and explain the problem . . . followed by offering a couple of solutions.
The operative action that makes this work (in terms of taking the edge off) is the subtlety of coming out from behind the service counter – or meeting the client in person – and taking the time to sit down and ‘splain the issue.
These folks at Ford Lincoln of Franklin do this well. When they discovered excessive tire wear and marginal brake pads, they invited me out to the bay to show me the problem, explain the probable cause, offered 3 good solutions and worked with me to finalize a fair price.
I felt well informed and ready to make a buying decision within 8 minutes of receiving the bad news.
As I sat here waiting for the work to be done, I have witnessed these folks do the same thing with other customers. I’ve seen enough to know that this is not contrived or plastic . . . These folks exude authenticity.
How do you break bad news to your clients?
So often, we earn the right to receive future referrals from our clients based on our ability to handle the sticky situations and surprises along the way.