People and customers will be unreasonable some of the time. It’s unreasonable to think people and customers shouldn’t be unreasonable – at least some of the time. Have you ever had an unreasonable moment? I sure have. Typically, my unreasonable moments happen when I get attached to an idea or thought, that isn’t happening in reality – and I’m mentally and emotionally fighting the reality. As I’ve learned to have more compassion for my own “unreasonable” moments, I find it easier to have compassion for others when they lapse into this semi-unconscious state.
So, when facing a real-life unreasonable customer, here’s what I suggest:
First, recognize what is really happening. Your customer is attached to an idea or thought that is NOT happening in reality. Perhaps, they didn’t meet some qualification or deadline, and are upset. Perhaps, they had an expectation of you or your business or program, yet it wasn’t part of the offering. Perhaps, their “unreasonableness” is about something else going on in their life, which has nothing to do with you. In any case, they are attached to an idea or thought, not happening in reality. By seeing things objectively, and not thinking it should be another way – it’s easier to stay in your peace.
Second, really, really, really acknowledge that this is just one “moment in time.” It’s not permanent. Unreasonable customers can transform into reasonable ones in minutes.
Third, stay focused on the “issue” being resolved peacefully. Just your calm, soothing presence can be enough to re-ground your customer. As you maintain your sanity, it helps them regain theirs.
Remember, every situation is going to be resolved one of two ways. Either your customer begins to accept the reality of the situation (even if they aren’t jumping for joy). Or they remain upset forever. I know, that one isn’t my favorite. However, if inner peace is a priority, it means accepting that some customers could remain unreasonable for life. Funny thing is … when you can authentically accept someone’s unreasonableness, you won’t need them to change.