Are you experiencing a lot of supply chain anger? Then the Mouse House might be able to help with this key tip.
For the video version of this article, click here.
Angry people – they’re everywhere. Most you can avoid, but some you just have to deal with. Especially if they’re your customers or suppliers (two of the essential ingredients for your supply chain or procurement company!).
Why Dealing with Anger Is Important
Have you ever contacted a “customer support’’ service either by phone or email and had a really negative experience? I’ll bet you have.
Have your angry emotions bordered on rage or thoughts of wanting to abuse that company out of sheer frustration? I’ll bet you have.
Did you tell your friends, share that distasteful experience through social media, leave a negative review or contact a government regulatory body? Or simply make a commitment to NEVER EVER do business with them or their product again? I’ll bet you have!
Not good for business!
Dealing Effectively with Supply Chain Anger
So how can you deal effectively with angry customers or suppliers?
Heard of Disney? You know that incredibly successful business icon of theme parks, movies, cartoons, products and people management? They must be doing something right if they can deal with 100+ million people a year at their theme parks and still have raving fans.
Odds are they’re bound to get their fair share of irate or unhappy people! So what technique do they use?
A wonderfully simple technique called H.E.A.R.D.
1. Hear (it involves listening)
That’s right, let the person tell their story. Just hope it’s not “A Never Ending Story…”! People who have had a chance to ‘let rip’ with their perceived injustices usually feel better.
Let them know you understand their frustration. Comments like, “I can see how that would make you really angry”, are helpful. When you’re saying this, be mindful of your tone and voice inflections, or they might think you are insincere.
Let that person know that you are sorry about the situation, product or service issue. Say something like, “I’m really sorry that this has happened to you”.
If you know your company is not at fault, diffuse the outrage by saying, “Can I offer my apologies? I’m always sorry when a customer is unhappy”. Once again sincerity must be obvious.
Get the situation under control quickly and make amends. If you can’t do it right away, give that person a clear timeline when someone else will rectify the issue.
Be specific who it will be. Give a name if appropriate. People want to connect with people, not a “service or complaints team”. Keep the person in the communication loop of what’s happening.
Saying something like, “Mr Smith, would it be ok with you if I call you back this afternoon and let you know the progress on this? What time works best for you?”
Diffuse, Diffuse and Diffuse a bit more…it works!
Get your detective on and find out what happened. Was it a product fault, wrong or late order, delayed payment, or was it miscommunication and customer or supplier expectations not being met?
What systems or change in procedures could prevent or minimise these issues reoccurring? Systemic problems may need to be pushed up the food chain for attention and action.
A good manager will listen to suggestion on improvement from staff at the coal face. After all what Supply Chain Company wants increasing complaints and the fallout from that?
Dealing with supply chain anger, and customer or suppliers complaints, is often a part of doing business. If you can manage those complaints in an ordered and sincere way, then your company is going to be in front of your competition.
Because most businesses don’t handle supply chain anger very well at all. Sometimes just asking that irate or angry person, “How could I solve this issue for you “and listening will give you an obvious starting point for resolution.
It may not actually be that complicated.