Reframe the conversation

From the course: De-Escalating Intense Situations

  • Course details

    Nearly every customer service professional has encountered a livid customer. These individuals may yell, curse, or forcefully disagree with a policy that you must enforce, but can't control. Such situations are unquestionably tough, but—with the right approach—you can consistently de-escalate the tension. In this course, instructor Myra Golden shares strategies for defusing intense situations, providing practical approaches that can help you calm angry customers. Myra goes over what often causes situations to escalate, and shares practical steps you can take to prevent an escalation. She also provides tips that can help you reframe conversations, manage expectations, handle customers who ask for your supervisor, and more.


    • Click here to view Myra Golden’s instructor page

      Myra Golden

      Customized Engaging Digital Customer Service Training and Instructor at LinkedIn Learning

      Myra Golden is an author, trainer, and keynote speaker.

      For over 20 years, Myra has been helping companies improve the customer experience through her customer service training workshops. She has a master's degree in human relations and a bachelor's degree in psychology, helping her to understand the challenges of developing the best customer experience as it relates to the psychology of the employees.

      Myra has helped McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Michelin, Frito-Lay, Vera Bradley and many others improve the customer experience through her training. She was named one of the top 10 customer service bloggers by Huffington Post, and she is the co-author of Beyond WOW: Defining A New Level of Customer Service.

    Skills covered in this course

  • Why you've been unsuccessful with angry customers

    - I was a new manager, with the company for about six months, and I had to stand before 60 franchise owners and give them bad news. I was nervous about the discussion escalating into finger pointing, flaring emotions, and being asked questions that I just couldn't answer. My vice president helped me prepare for this meeting. We decided my best approach was to reframe the conversation, to move the focus from what was wrong to what we'd done about the problem. He gave me the three-step reframing strategy that he'd successfully used for more than 20 years. The three steps are: here's what we know, here's what we've done, and here's what's next. This reframing strategy I learned is perfect for taking control of a difficult conversation, deflecting intense emotions, and keeping the interaction focused. Here's how it works. You start out telling your customer what you know about the problem they've experienced, giving them the details they need to know. This sets you up as confident and transparent. If you've already taken steps to fix the issue, tell the customer what's been done. For example, we've opened a claim for you, and I have a claim number for you to take down. Next, you tell the customer what's next, someone will reach out to you at the email we have on file within four to five business days. The three-step reframing model works because you answer all of the customer's questions before they have a chance to ask you anything. You're transparent, and you give all the details they need. You've told them what's been done and what happens next. Here's an example of how a young man used these three steps on my husband when he had some awful news to deliver. My husband picked up our rental car from valet and there was a dent on the car. My husband was very upset. The valet employee quickly created calm using the steps. He told my husband what he knew: "The accident happened in our parking garage at 7:42 p.m. "The driver was in a white Honda Civic, "and he left the scene." Then, he explained what they'd done: "We've filed a claim with our loss-prevention team, "and we filed a police report." Finally, he explained what was next: "You also need to submit a police report, "and you need to notify both your insurance company "and your rental car company," he told us. My husband still wasn't happy, but he was remarkably calmer. When I used the three steps for my big meeting, I was in control of the conversation. The things I most feared, emotional outbursts and questions I couldn't handle, never happened. They didn't happen because the three steps reframed the conversation from a finger-pointing session to information sharing with me coming out looking credible and confident.

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