Today, I had the opportunity to talk with a colleague. The discussion was how to handle the situation when a customer is perhaps reacting to some unwelcome news. I shared with him a ‘tried and tested’ technique.
Situation: A customer has heard a piece of disappointing news, how to manage this is adopt the method called; Feel, felt, Found.
Feel: “I understand how you feel, I can see how it would have been good to get this early.” (This wording lets him know that you heard him and can relate. This is actually really important, people most of the time just want to know they have been understood and heard)
Felt: “Initially, other customers have felt that way when they were unable to get an important enhancement in the immediate next release.” (You then are letting them know that this initial thought is common, that they are not alone but you are also suggesting the situation can change)
Found: “What they found on analysis of their plan over the last year is we had delivered many stages of varying complexity and that the better we work together at talking about your long term needs the faster the phases will be realised. (You have now taken the customer from a position of disappointment to a position where they are understood, that they are not alone and with the right encouraged behaviours together you will bring greater success).
Every situation even the ones that start out negative, bring with them an opportunity for greater alignment and partnership. Empathy is so important in these interactions and it fulfils a human need to be heard and understood. I hope my sharing this useful to someone.