See You Later!

We’ve all been there. At the other end of the line to a very unhappy customer.

In the workplace, you will encounter dissatisfied people from time to time and it can be stressful and unsettling. Dealing with difficult people is a job demand that requires a greater level of emotional effort, but customer complaints are not about to disappear so it is important to know how to protect yourself! Approaching negativity with genuine positivity and calm is an effective counterpoint that can make the difference between a constructive and satisfying solution versus a toxic and regretful confrontation.

Often difficult customers want things done NOW so next time the pressure is on, remember the ‘LATER’ method. Rather than a method for procrastinating or avoiding, it puts you in control of your emotions as well as the situation and is the simplest and most effective way to deal with this particular on-the-job stress.

Far from being spineless, disingenuous or disempowered this method can help protect YOU and YOUR psychological health and wellbeing by diffusing the stress of the customer and by default, your stress. Plus, it’s a solution that can bring job satisfaction through positive and constructive problem solving. Let’s face it, being obstructive, objectionable and unwilling to help is the perfect way to build walls instead of bridges and that ultimately leads to unhappiness and dissatisfaction. And who wants that?

If you have given it your best try and you are still experiencing a level of criticism that is disproportionate to what the situation calls for, and you are feeling overwhelmed then ask your supervisor or manager for help. If that’s not an avenue you can pursue then find out the dispute resolution procedure for your organization. Either way, seek out help and don’t feel you have to deal with it alone.

Role reversal time!

So, what if you’re the one doing the complaining? It’s not a perfect world, and there are times when issues need to be raised with a colleague, business or service provider. Sometimes when the pressure is on it’s tempting to pass that pressure on to the next hapless individual. As employees of the SDA Church, we need to remember that our words and actions reflect on us as Christians and also the organisation we represent. So when raising an issue, dare we say “making a complaint”, take these tips on board:

  • Hounding and harassing is never ok.
  • Offensive, abusive, rude and manipulative language is never ok.
  • Shouting is never ok.

If any of the above tactics are used to get a result, expect that result to be next to nothing. Negative behavior brings negative results.

Download a printable PDF version of the Later Method.