07 Apr Don’t Ignore the Elephant in the Room
April 7, 2020
We are in unprecedented times right now. Everyone is feeling this pandemic one way or another. This includes both your employees as well as your customers. Thus, the challenge is to be empathetic to what is going on but not sympathetic. If Bridging was an opportunity prior to this situation, then Bridging will be a greater opportunity now.
So, what should you do? With employees, carve out time to do a check in prior to any conversation on performance. Acknowledge emotions. Pause to listen. Assure your employees that you are in this with them and will help them through this situation. Stress the importance of staying focused on goals, as this will help them in the long run.
With customers, be prepared for Bridging. Meaning, most calls will go to that section of the call model. Even if you are offering programs, don’t allow the programs to be the first thing offered prior to Acknowledging any emotions or the situation. Though we are all in this together, not everyone is out of work. Many are working from home and have the added stress of teaching their children, while balancing work. Some are out in the frontline of the situation. And, then there are those who are furloughed.
After verification and stating the Purpose of the call, use the Pause to LISTEN. This is not a time to use generic Acknowledgments.
“I can’t imagine what it is like working on the frontline.”
“I, for one, appreciate your dedication to all of America.”
“I know it is challenging working from home and caring for your little ones”
“I can agree that this is a crazy time for everyone.”
Help your employees create new Acknowledgment phrases.
Removing Isolation & Transition
“We are all in this together. (Our company) is here to assist you through this situation. Let’s see what we can do together.”
“We (company) are committed to helping our customers through this trying time. Let’s discuss your situation in more detail and how we can find a solution.”
Just a few examples. Remember not to let the responses become scripted. The main goal of Bridging is to connect with the customer/agent by listening and acknowledging their emotion and transitioning to solutions. It is not brushing over the emotion or becoming emotional with them. Ignoring the situation that everyone is in will only result in more emotion and no solutions.