Past experience and negative expectations can serve as barriers between customer relations executives, or salespeople, and clients at contact points. But it is possible to reframe, reattribute, and demonstrate unconditional positive regard to bypass any negative barriers that could have impeded positive outcomes.
Psychologists say that we are all born with an innate process of recognising friends versus foes, based on inherited past experience. Carl Jung, a famous Psychologist refers to this process as a ‘Collective Unconscious’ of traits that we inherited from the genetic experiences of all the ancestors who came before us.
In practical terms, people whose Neurology are highly receptive to danger are less likely to be eaten by predators. This leaves them alive to pass their genetics on to subsequent generations.
Broadly, what that means is that the way you respond to an upset may have as much to do with your historical predecessors and their hypersensitivity when confronted with danger. In theory, the responses combine to form what Scientists call ‘Vibes’ – emotional or attitudinal responses to people, place or time.
Vibes are based on our biases, pattern recognition or past responses regarded as ‘Social Cognition’ by Psychologists. Put in a customer situation, our attitudinal or emotional reactions (vibes) can make or mar a transaction.
The good thing is that, however our neurological background or genetic programming, we can tailor our responses by getting into a mind-set that let us respond in favourable manners, and discard of error of judgment, prejudice or assumptions.
Here are three (3) programmed errors that impede effective customer relationship and how to overcome them
1. Negative Expectations – Expectations, according to psychologists, are frequently guided behaviours that make it easier to predict future occurrences. Customer relations execs can fall victim of past negative experiences. This happens when some clients or events have failed to meet programmed expectations. Subsequently such executives set up an unconfirmed framework which lead to awkward showing when contacting other clients.
- Well, this is not destiny – The therapy is what Dr. Carl Rogers calls ‘UNCONDITIONAL POSITIVE REGARD’. It means refusing to judge your client despite the fact that they share certain traits with those who have fallen below sales expectations in the past.
- It also means you should approach every client with new mentality of love and respect at every point. This will spring new set of positive result with possibility of sales now or later in future.
2. Stereotyping – In social psychology, this represents a general belief held about a particular set of people. If left unchecked, it can affect relationship in any sales process. Customer relationship executives must move beyond stereotyping and follow company processes in relating with clients. Ensuring every client receives the same value at each facing is critical for retaining the client.
• For salespeople and customer relations officer who are given to stereotyping, here is the therapy. No two people are actually the same – simply Reframe! Reframing in psychology simply means changing your viewpoints about a subject, a situation or a person. It is a choice that balances the salesman’s and customer relations officer’s rational and emotional outlook; thereby leading to more positive engagement with clients.
3. Personalisation – In psychology, this is a kind of distortion where one believes other people’s reactions are direct response to their own look or words or actions generally. While this may be true in some circumstances, it should not be allowed to distort business.
- The therapy against incessant personalisation is ‘Reattribution’. Through this approach a customer relations executive or salesperson can choose to overlook automatic thought, and instead look at alternative causes. In other words, it is more about reprogramming the mind to see the positive.
Customer relations and sales are critical to business profitability. The executives employed to carry out the task must guide their minds continuously against misrepresentation. Their minds have to be fed with positive thoughts to remove assumptions and barriers at points of engagement.
Beyond pure marketing, some psychological understanding are needed to serve the 21st century varied customers well.