The question is how do you communicate that you care to your clients, co-workers and even your kids?!!
Communicating with compassion is especially important in situations that require working together in a problem-solving or conflict resolution situation.
In the words of leadership guru John Maxwell:
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
I frequently share this quote in my communication keynotes and workshops, but the million dollar question is:
“How do you communicate that you care in a way that the other person feels it?”
I had a chance to experience this first hand as the customer when my husband and I were flying home to San Diego from a recent weekend visit with family back East.
As a professional Motivational Speaker, my behavior as a traveler reveals whether I really walk my talk when it comes to communication, conflict resolution and collaboration. I try hard not to become the crazy person having a meltdown in the middle of the airport over a missed flight or other travel plight.
Last weekend at our connecting airport (pictured above) it was both me and my husband who were put to the stay-positive-play-nicely test during the “Dallas Debacle,” as I like to call it.
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED:
20 minutes after an on-time departure, our plane made a U-turn and returned to the same gate from which we left at Dallas Love Field.
The majority of the passengers on that evening flight were heading from Dallas to Phoenix and were re-boarded on another plane at a neighboring gate.
A handful of people, including us, had been scheduled to just stop briefly in Phoenix and then continue on to San Diego. We were left behind to begin the process of pursuing other flight options.
This is where I applaud the Southwest Airlines Customer Service Agents for their extreme patience, professionalism and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to get us home. In these high-tech times, it’s always refreshing to experience customer service focused on high-touch relationships.
The solution involved an overnight stay at a Dallas Hotel near the airport—comped, of course!—and a departure the next morning. However, what wins agents Hahna and Tricia the #bestcustomerserviceever award is the way they worked together as a team and the way they communicated to us that they cared.
I’ve created the acronym C.A.R.E. to recap my experience that night and to provide a “how to” guide for showing you care. I’ve also included real-life phrases.
I thought this might be useful for those of you who want to help your staff—or yourself!—address difficult communication challenges, work together better and most importantly, communicate with compassion!
C – Consultative (Do with them, not to them!)
“Let’s look at the options.”
“What’s your preference?”
A – Attentive (Make them feel important!)
“We’re making this a priority”
“We’ve put you on top of the list.”
R – Results (Make it happen!)
“I was supposed to be off duty but will stay until this is resolved.”
“We’re going to figure this out.”
E – Empathy (Feel their pain!)
“I know this is frustrating.”
“I’m sure it’s been a very long day.”
Oh….did I mention that we each got a $200 travel voucher for a future flight? That was icing on the “we care” cake!