storyWho’s Telling Your Story?

Sometimes people just need to vent.

But when people don’t have the chance to vent after a really bad experience, their feelings of frustration and anger can fester. If a negative story isn’t told, it grows … like a cultural tumor, eating away at the very core of the organization.

If a person’s negative experience isn’t resolved properly, you can bet they’ll tell all the details to anyone and everyone who will listen. Obviously, this creates a reputation problem for the organization, but worse, it means the organization is no longer in charge of their story. Someone else is.

It is up to you to change the narrative of your story

I was on my way to a meeting at a client hospital recently and as I was about to walk into the room one of the hospital team members stopped me. She said, “Hey, do you have a quick second?” And then she began to vent her frustrations about something that had happened in her area earlier that week. When she was finished she said, “Phew, thanks for listening! I just had to get that off my chest! Ready to go in the meeting?”

Patients, employees, customers, and visitors are the same. Without the ability to vent, these frustrations become a part of the story others tell about your organization (however unintentionally).

Two things you can do to guard your story

There are two solutions for handling patients, customers, visitors and others who are frustrated or having a bad experience: First, you can let the other person vent and then do your best to resolve the situation. (Incidentally, listening is the first step in any Service Recovery program.) And second, you can proactively identify the pain points along the customer journey and come up with solutions to minimize or eliminate them before they become a problem. We call this Proactive Anticipation.

One client hospital I worked with years ago told our team that many of their employees tensed up whenever they heard that a “consulting agency” was being brought in. As it turns out, years earlier an agency had come in, conducted an assessment, and ultimately recommended layoffs to save the company money. Many relatives and former colleagues of those that were laid off remembered how bad this was and thus, this is the story they’ve carried with them all these years later. The lesson in this particular example is that THIS IS THE ORGANIZATION’S STORY – until they decide to change it.

At the end of the day, sometimes people just need to vent. How you handle it will dictate what your story is and who is telling it.


P.S. This video will make you smile. It’s about a woman who is frustrated about a purchase she made. She returns to the customer service worker to vent and she was clearly expecting a back and forth exchange of words. But that didn’t happen. Instead, she was met with something she didn’t expect. Check it out)

Hahahaha. If you work with customers/clients you can relate. Oh to be mindful of how we treat others. Of what ‘fights’ are really important. (Poverty, environmental disasters, social justice, animal cruelty)….so much of our anger is misdirected. …#cheese #cbc #haha #customers #fight #global #whatreallymatters #cashier #reviews #fear #dont #yelp

Posted by Institute of Traditional Medicine on Tuesday, May 7, 2019