Like soppy dedications in the front of cheesy novels, this one is for Chantel.
Karma is a bitch.
I seem to attract bad experiences like flies – if something is going to go wrong, you can bet your bottom dollar, it’s gonna happen to me.
I spent 10 years in mobile. You would imagine I could navigate that territory without stepping on a mine. You’d be wrong. Mobile operators, banks, insurance companies and municipal offices make me want to weep.
It’s when the proverbial hits that fan that I react like most people – I get angry. My state of mind determines if you get a disgruntled glare, or the full company, music and lights stage production meltdown worthy of a “Bosveld Oscar”. I’m perversely proud of the fact I got a motor dealer to take back a 2-year-old car they sold me. I marched into the dealer principal’s office, handed him the key and said “You sold it, you financed it, you can’t fix it. Now you own it.” And walked out. It was two VERY stressful days before they called and agreed to buy it back for what I owed.
It’s taken me while to realise the way I usually handle these service implosions doesn’t always work as well. You can only return a table lamp so many times and MAN it screws with your chi. The time had come for a new plan. Armed with a little people knowledge, a bunch of CX theory and a truckload of cheek, I’ve started employing a new strategy. No one is more surprised than me that it’s working. Here’s the low-down:
1. Force your humanity on them. If they’re determined to see you as a number, shove the real you down their throat. Share your day, your dreams, your hopes, your pets and dysfunctional family in excruciating detail. Keep checking you’ve not lost them and get their opinion on everything – “I told the wife it wasn’t possible – ha ha – you have to tell her I was right, wait, where’s my cell phone?”
2. Blow your smoke up their bum. A little massage of the ego goes a long way to getting what you want. Try phrases like “Congrats, today’s the day you get to make my day!” or “That moment where you go above and beyond for a customer is here!”. Even “Tonight, you’re going to have an AMAZING story to share with your family!”
3. Then DIY. If 1 and 2 don’t work, step up and offer to do it yourself. “I see you’re extremely busy, so just show which buttons to press and I’ll take care of it.” NOTHING frightens a shop assistant more than customer behind THEIR counter.
All kidding aside – I believe in CX Karma. If I were going to trot out that tired old “North Star” cliche for our little family of CX practitioners, I would offer the following:
“We put amazing experiences into the world, so it may come back to us ten-fold.”
Coz’ Karma is a beeach.