The 48-hour rule is crucial for a new business owner’s success
This relationship between trust and certainty and customer response time oftentimes conflicts with a new business owner’s confidence as he lacks the experience to create certainty for the customer and therefore avoids the situation all together. In most cases, it is done unintentionally as the business owner obviously doesn’t want to ruffle feathers and compromise his brand. But through the hustle and bustle of wearing many hats, the uncomfortable conversation falls to the wayside. By doing so, the business owner has unknowingly made the situation more complex, as with uncertainty comes anxiety, doubt, lack of trust, and unfortunately decreased satisfaction in the relationship and service.
One of the biggest benefits of owning a franchise is that the business model has been exhaustively laid out and packaged—if it’s a quality franchise system. In fact, a large part of training should be centered around customer satisfaction and solving customer concerns. An easy way to check the quality of a business’ quality controls is to check the ratings and customer feedback that is available online. What sort of reputation has the business built in the marketplace? Raving customers are a reflection of quality business processes. An even better sign of top-notch brand performance is customers who are willing to get on camera and validate their experience. This requires a raving fan in the form of a customer.
Do you ever wonder why some customer concerns come with more anxiety?
In essence, customer concerns come in many different forms. Some are very simple and direct and therefore carry little reservation for the business owner to solve punctually. However, the concerns that violate the 24-hour rule and that create the greatest pause for business owners are the concerns that carry emotional projection. The most common emotion projected is anxiety. It looks like this: The customer calls and states the most catastrophic outcome possible for a scenario and corners you as the business owner into being a part of the cause. In this moment, the customer has had some time to independently process a situation with a lack of experience and has come to a conclusion based on uncertainty and feels that the business owner is, in part, responsible for it.
The most common response from a business owner in this situation is to get defensive. After all, he is being attacked and the natural response is to defend. But this is the worst way to respond. The easiest trick is to default to empathy, as the customer doesn’t know what he doesn't know, and this catastrophic conclusion on behalf of the customer has a root. You must find the answer by determining the root and asking enough “whys” to get to the source that is really driving the uncertainty.
Disarming customer concerns is just as much of an art as it is a science
In part, it is a science, but it’s more of an art of self-awareness to recognize that you are being triggered into responding to emotional projection with emotional warfare. The best defense mechanism is to deploy empathy and to immediately begin to serve by asking questions to uncover the why that is driving the concern. If you do that, you can bypass their catastrophic conclusion and provide clarity to disarm the customer’s anxiety. As a result, you establish the customer’s certainty in your solutions and confirm your expertise in his eyes. If you follow the 24-hour rule, deploy empathy to uproot uncertainty, and provide solutions for the why behind the masked emotional projections, you’ll be well on your way to creating raving fans in the form of customers.
Have you ever been triggered and pulled into a customer’s emotional projects that were laid onto you? If so, what happened?