How to Reduce the #1 Cause of Anxiety
4 Quick Tips to Help you Make Price Irrelevant
1) Feature Story
How to Reduce the #1 Cause of Anxiety
For most people uncertainty triggers high extremes of anxiety. As human beings, we like predictability in our lives. That is why we check the five-day forecast, so we know how to dress. That is why so many people are resistant to change because doing the same thing, having habits, creating a pattern in our lives is predictable. I know, almost within 90 seconds, how long it will take to drive to work today if I take the same route every day. We like sameness, even when it is boring or not meeting our needs. We do the same workouts, go to the same restaurant, even stay in bad relationships because at least we know what we will get versus the unknown, the uncertainty.
The Emotional Impact of the Pandemic does not Discriminate
Today is all about uncertainty in a world wracked by a pandemic, economic instability, a political divide, and racial unrest. Uncertainty causes anxiety. People would rather know bad news than worry about what could happen. In fact, a study showed that people preferred the option of definitely getting an electric shock now versus the possibility of it happening later.
Uncertainty causes paralyses. Uncertainty causes people to be on edge, react irrationally, and struggle emotionally. Those people are our employees, customers, family members, and even ourselves. If someone struggles with highs & lows, depression, and anxiety issues, this pandemic could really be having a major effect on them. As leaders of businesses, it is our responsibility to help them.
The absolute first business strategy needs to address the mental and physical health of ourselves and our internal customers—our employees. The second business strategy is reducing uncertainty and increasing predictability in every touchpoint with your customers.
Provide Predictability in all Situations
For starters, you can still provide predictability. How is this possible when we are all dealing with uncertainty and with a lot of things, we don’t even know the answers ourselves? Let me share how. The medical and financial industries are two of the highest stress experiences for consumers because of the stressful nature of dealing with our health and finances. For example, someone applies for a loan or a mortgage, or a patient is waiting to hear back on an important test result. As a business, in situations like these, you probably have no idea what their results will be. However, what you do know is how the process works and the typical turnaround time of when you should have an answer for them.
Working with several financial service companies, The DiJulius Group has seen this situation play out over and over again. Whenever a customer is told by a loan officer that they will be notified as soon as they, the loan officer, gets an answer, this can lead to problems and cause fear in the mind of the customer. The customer may start calling in daily to find out the status of their loan. They may start to panic, thinking the loan officer forgot about them, or the loan officer may have too many clients and is not giving their loan the attention it deserves. The customer may call the loan officer’s supervisor to complain, and/or they may take their business elsewhere.
Former FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss says, “Make your world more predictable in tiny little ways. The people you’re communicating with don’t always know when you’re going to have good news, but they shouldn’t wonder when you are going to communicate with them. When you don’t communicate, the people you lead will be left in uncertainty. Don’t let people wonder when you’re going to communicate with them. Be fearless about having nothing to say.”
It is amazing how one simple, small change to this process can provide predictability and ease their anxiety. When the loan officer says something like; “Mr. Simmons, it appears you have provided me with all the information I need to process your mortgage today. From here, it will take our underwriting department two to three days before they notify me if your loan is approved. Which means, you will hear from me no later than end of day Thursday. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.”
In our experience, the customer rarely ends up contacting the loan officer prior to the promised return call. The most important part to all of this is you need to contact the customer by end of day Thursday regardless if you have an answer or not. That is predictability, that is where trust is built. Predictability eases anxiety. Never leave your customer in the dark about what will be happening next and when they will be hearing from you.
Go Ugly Early
If you have bad news to share, don’t procrastinate, make small talk, or try to lessen the blow. You are doing a huge disservice to your customer. If you have bad news to share with your client, you need to go ugly early. That means if you have bad news, share it immediately and then be well prepared to discuss any possible solutions around it. Your client will respect you so much more.
How can you ease uncertainty in your business model by building in predictability?
2) Video Recap of all 5 Weeks of The Customer Service Revolution
We could not be prouder of the 2020 Virtual Customer Service Revolution that just ended. I strongly encourage you to check out the highlight video of all 5 weeks recapping the 20+ amazing speakers.
*You can still register & watch the entire 2020 Customer Service Revolution until November 30th.
3) Quote of The Week
“How you are performing now has little to do with how hard you are working today;
it is a result of the work you put in 3-6 months ago.”
*Learn how to have your own Customer Experience Coaching business by watching this webinar.
4) Customer Experience is the Key Lapping Your Competition Right Now
In a time of uncertainty, there are only 3 certainties in life: Death, Taxes, & Customer Experience.
An economic fallout is always the best advertisement for the competitive advantage outstanding customer service companies have over the rest of their industry. The companies that don’t invest in customer experience are the ones whose leaders don’t understand the financial impact CX can have.
Decide now to make 2021 the year you become the brand customers can’t live without and make the pandemic irrelevant. See how The DiJulius Group helps companies accomplish this through our Virtual Customer Service Keynote Presentations and Workshops.