Last week we said complaints are a call to action. This week, I want to urge you to be sure you’re taking aim before you act.
Cross your arms in front of your chest as if you’re impatiently waiting for something. Ok, now cross them the other way. Put the other arm on top…..How did that feel? If you’re like most people, you felt out of sorts when you crossed your arm the other way. It was uncomfortable because the way you cross your arms has become a habit. A habit is an action that you do without thinking. Action without thinking is NOT the type of action that should follow a complaint.
A true action is a ‘movement to achieve an aim’. And that is how you want to respond to a complaint! Complaints are a call to action, and the action needs to be intentional. When you face a complaint, whether your own, your customer’s, your client’s or your friend’s, aim before you act. If your aim is peace, you take one action. When your aim is to dismiss the complaint, you take another. And when you aim is to make the sale, keep the client and turn him into an advocate for you and your business, your actions need to move you towards that target.
In time you may want your actions to become habits. We build good habits all the time. Getting out of bed to go the gym and brushing your teeth are good examples. But whether you knew it or not, you took aim before you took those actions, and then they became habits. You were aiming for health and clean teeth. When you want a successful business, a happy household, or to become your best self, you have to take aim before you act. Only then can you know that the actions that become habits will get you where you want to go.
Next time you’re about to respond to a complaint, consider whether you’ve taken aim or whether you’ve fallen into habit. Habits only work if they’re pointed towards your goal. Uncross those arms and take aim.