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Create Less GRRR

Updated: Mar 12, 2020

One of my favorite pieces of feedback I ever received from a trainee was how after implementing my Communication Code, people had less GRRR.

I knew exactly what she meant. The reason there was less GRRR was because she wasn’t using any triggering statements with her customers.

One of the main objectives of my communication training is to help business professionals transform their words to create happier clients and customers.

Simply put, my goal is to help people eliminate the GRRR.

Let's talk about how that works using the following scenario : You work for an IT company. A client calls in because she has been locked out of her computer, and she needs help resetting her password.

The client is not happy. She's on a deadline and needs access to her computer right away.

She expresses frustration over how frequently she is required to reset her password, and she tells you she no longer wants to have to reset it.

True story: I was that client.

Your initial reaction might be to tell her why -- for her security -- she's required to change her password every 30, 60, or 90 days.

That seems like a logical response to her request, right?

One problem is, you're only saying what you can't do...

You're also inviting your client to debate you, which will prolong the conversation beyond the 30 seconds it takes for you to reset her password and get her access to her computer again. Remember: She's on a deadline.

Here's an alternate way to give the same information using the Communication Code:

As a refresher, the three steps of the Code are:

  • Validating

  • Planting seeds of happiness

  • Providing an action statement (i.e. saying what you can do)

"I can see why that would frustrate you (validation). The great news is (seed of happiness), I can get your password changed in 30 seconds, and then you'll be on your way (action statement). And if you want to discuss that password reset agreement, I’m happy to leave a message for Chris who works on the agreements for your services with us."

I truly believe that sometimes the way we are conditioned to speak is the opposite of what will work.

When a client says she doesn't want to change her password, it can feel natural to instantly explain why -- for her security -- she must.

But when your client is trapped in fight or flight like I was, immediately launching into a debate with that person is not going to neutralize her fight-or-flight response.

What will neutralize it is validation, followed by the solution.

Some examples of validating phrases are:

I can see why that would frustrate you...

I can understand your concern...

Validation is important because it establishes a foundation of trust that gets people to want to engage with you further and moves them to a place where they're ready to hear your solutions. It helps the people you talk to see you as an ally.

Also, since time is of the essence in this scenario, reassuring your client that you have a quick fix to her problem will help put her mind at ease.

If you want to learn more about eliminating the GRRR in your client and customer interactions, contact me here.

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