Being a cleaning business owner, you are well aware of having to deal with unhappy customers. They may be upset about poor service, a door left unlocked, lights left on, garbage missed, and so on and so on. But what happens when the tables are turned? Our customers can try our patience as well. How many times has a prospect or customer showed up late for an appointment or not at all? What about a customer constantly being late on a payment, asking for additional cleaning without an additional charge, or just plain rude or obnoxious with you or your employees for no apparent reason? Instead of emotionally reacting to them, keep your cool and try to resolve the situation in a friendly manner.
It would be easy to just cut these customers loose and move on but as a business owner, you are well aware of how difficult it can be to find customers in this highly competitive cleaning industry and these tough economic times. Of course, you don’t want to allow these people to take advantage of you but you also don’t want to lose these people. The last thing you want to do is blow your stack and risk the chance of not only losing the customer, but blemishing your business name and brand. Anger is a completely normal human emotion and everyone has experienced it. It’s when this anger gets the better of you, causing you to lose your temper, which results in an abrupt, unpredictable and unfavorable response that quickly becomes detrimental for you, your customer, and your cleaning business.
Here are some tips on keeping your cool.
- Wait to respond. When your blood pressure begins to boil, delay your response until you have cooled down, especially if you need to contact the customer. This will allow you time to examine the issue and respond with a professional attitude.
- Focus on something positive. Go to your happy place! By focusing on something positive or visualizing a happy experience you had, you will redirect your anger and you will be able to get over it more quickly.
- Predetermine your desired outcome. Our first reaction when someone gets snappy with us is to snap back. After all, you want to make them feel as lousy as they made you feel, right? Wrong. This will only escalate the situation and in most cases, cause you to lose a customer. Always treat your customers the way you would want to be treated, not the way they may be treating you.
- Relax. Simple relaxation tools such as deep breathing will help to calm down your angry feelings and relieve tense situations.
- Reason with yourself. When you’re angry, your thoughts become exaggerated and dramatic. Remind yourself that getting angry isn’t going to fix anything and may only make the problem worse.
- Listen and pacify. Just accept the fact that this person may be having a bad day, week, or month for that matter and is taking it out on you. You never know what is going on in someone’s life. Don’t be defensive, but rather try to calm them down and soothe the situation out. After all, we are all human.
- Use humor to derail your anger. Think of something you read or heard that made you laugh. Maybe a funny email or joke from a co-worker. Remember to never take anything too seriously.
- Take a break. Give yourself some personal time off. Take a walk or grab a quick snack, but whatever it is, try to remove yourself from your immediate surroundings.
When you do lose your cool, and we all do, remember to just say you’re sorry. It’s OK to skip the blame game, take responsibility, apologize, and move on. Follow these tips and you will feel better about yourself when you handle heated situations in a professional manner.