The Critical Leadership Shift to Convert Complaining Customers into Raving Fans

How can I help You“My job is to listen to your problems.”

That sounds very noble for any customer service professional but it is wrong.  There is a better way, if we shift to becoming a disruptive leader.  Please allow me to explain.

I have an intermittent problem with my phone and cable TV service that has been going on for years.  Over the years, I have made countless calls and hosted many a technician visit.  The solution is evasive and the problem ebbs and flows along with my ability (or inability) to tolerate the pain of the situation.  You know how it goes, we get tired of fighting so we simply put up with the frustration until it happens at the wrong time.  That happened last week.   I became frustrated and determined to get the problem resolved – even if it meant changing my service.

So I called in and got the same old lackluster customer service.  Whoever receives the call seems more intent on finishing the call than solving the problem.  They are polite and apologize profusely for my inconvenience but talk is cheap.  It sounds nice but it is not enough.

Their Inability to SHIFT becomes MY Problem

And that was incredibly frustrating.

What they don’t understand is that to turn complaining customers into raving and loyal fans, they have to become the disruptive leader solving the problem.  You know, the one who stands out from the crowd by seeing things a different way.  They need to SHIFT the situation, to change paradigms so we are free to leverage our power more effectively.  That means they don’t just re-double their efforts and listen longer or try harder but that they stop, readjust and work their leverage from a different perspective.  The old way didn’t work so they need to try a new angle.

Without the SHIFT, we see yet another example of the insane practice of trying to solve problems by taking the same ineffectual action over and over and over and over.  That doesn’t work.  Instead, insane repetition leads to incredible frustration.  HINT:  That is lousy customer service.

“Excuse me but that is not correct.  YOUR job is to SOLVE MY problem.”

I said it politely, refraining from losing my cool.  This might even sounded a little self serving but, when we think about it, isn’t that is exactly the purpose of customer service? We are not calling because we are lonely or want to check on available new options that the company is offering.  No, for us to take the time and effort to call on a Sunday evening when we would rather be doing something else, we have a problem that needs to be solved today.  We are looking for a CHANGE so we SHIFT our behavior seeking that change. The individual who helps us resolve that problem also has to SHIFT.   When they SHIFT enough to solve our problem, they take our pain and turn it to our pleasure.  “That was easy.”  We know that if we have a problem they will take care of it.  They go from a villain to a hero.  In the process, they become a disruptive leader.

Our Ability to SHIFT Changes THEIR Problems into OUR Opportunity

But this isn’t about THEM.  It is about US becoming disruptive leaders by providing stellar customer service.  We want to  be that leader who sees the opportunities and takes the action to transform the situation.  We want to be the one who sees the status quo and makes the power shift to do what others will not, can not or simply do not do.   By shifting, we discover an amazing energy to power the results we ultimately want.  That is why disruptive leaders are always looking for a CHANGE and willing to SHIFT perspectives.  In fact, as disruptive leaders, we look at the situation specifically to change the status quo. We see a better way and as we use that innovation to solve problems for others, we CHANGE their world and often make raving fans from complaining customers.  It is then that we become the ones who do what others thought was impossible.
This SHIFT is significant but not that difficult.

  1. We SHIFT the focus from ourselves to the other person.
  2. We ASK questions instead of just giving canned answers.

Transform Your Thinking

Unleash The Ultimate (TM)

Leverage Your Power to Do the Impossible

I am Dr. Loren Murfield and I help aspiring and emerging leaders disrupt the status quo in theirBlack Book of MMM in Tough Times 2013 lives by doing what many never think possible.  You can begin being that disruptive leader by reading more about this topic in my second book, “The Black Book of Making More Money in Tough Times” that I revised last year.

To seize the incredible opportunities available today, we need a Paradigm Shift.

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