Some Tips for Managing Emotion and Getting Results
Sometimes emotions can get in the way when we are trying to get a problem fixed or when we have a dispute. Waiting on hold, listening to the on-hold music, having to tell your story several times or speaking to someone who doesn't seem to understand can lead to feelings of frustration and even anger.
Expressing how you feel, By saying 'I am angry or disappointed or frustrated or feeling powerless', can help the listener understand what is really happening for you. Indeed if you can describe how you feel in a non-threatening, non-aggressive way sometimes the other person will try even harder to resolve your complaint. But strong negative emotions can be very unhelpful and can result in traumatised complaint handlers and unsatisfied customers.
Most complaint handlers in call centres are trained to deal with high emotions from callers but sometimes those emotions can cloud the issues. Complaint Handlers can miss the real reason for the call because they are focused on dealing with the high emotions. If you focus on negative thoughts such as 'they don't believe me', 'she doesn't seem to care', 'I'm not important' your real concern about your Service Provider (perhaps a bank or insurance company) may not get the attention it deserves.
Also, if you focus on past bad experiences that you have had with Service Providers, this might stop you from focusing on your complaint, from explaining it clearly or considering options. It is often the case that the more anger you express the less effective you become and the less you are really listened to and understood.
Here are some thoughts on ways to manage your emotions during a phone call:
Sometimes we give ourselves permission to get angry and yell at someone. We have all done it once or twice. Most of the time we try not to because it is not socially acceptable. However, occasionally the situation overwhelms us and we do yell, make threats or become abusive.
Here are some tips for what to do when this happens:
Good luck! It isn't easy to manage emotions but if you can you will be able to have more constructive conversations and hopefully resolve your complaints.
Nina Harding has over 15 years experience in resolving business and community disputes. She regularly speaks at conferences and has taught thousands of people how to resolve conflict more effectively. www.frontlinecomplaints.com