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Auto Repair Shop Owner's Daily Dose 57: Dealing with Frustration


Dealing with Frustration by Rick White, President 180BIZ

Today I want to talk about frustration. Why is this a big deal? Because 44 states are relaxing their “Stay at Home” guidelines. More people are starting to come out.  There are a lot of people that are frustrated. There are a lot of people that are angry. There are a lot of people that feel like they have been forced to do things they don't want to do. And you're going to start seeing more and more of them in your shop. You can't go into this thinking it's business as usual. This is still not normal. You’re going to start getting busier. Be very, very intentional here. If nowhere else, please be intentional here.

Frustration levels of some people are higher than they normally are. We're all a little bit on edge. We're ready to get things back to the way they should be. But you know, you're going to have guidelines. Some States that are requiring masks. Some are requiring curbside only. Some are requiring 50% capacity. I saw on the news this weekend where an older gentleman was in a pharmacy and was asked to put a mask on.  He refused. Then he sneezed wiped and wiped his nose on an employee’s shirt. Those kinds of attitudes are out there.

The tensions are high, and you don't know who's walking in. You're expecting them to be like you. That's what we do. We project what we're feeling onto the people around us. So, I'm going to ask you to step back and do three things.

  1. Every morning, right now, do a temperature check on your emotions. Where are you at? Are you feeling great? Or are you a little depressed this morning? Are you tired? Are you worn out? Are you frustrated? Do that mental temperature check on yourself first.

    And then ask yourself a couple of different questions. Is this real? Because most of the time it's not. And then the second thing is what can I be grateful for? Start with a heart filled with gratitude. The first thing to do is an emotional check of yourself.
  2. Make your team aware that they need to deal with these customers differently. And I'm going to show you how to do that in just a moment, but I want you to do a figurative temperature check on your team every single morning. It's simple as asking, “Hey, how's it going? What are you doing? You okay?” You need to identify their emotional level. You need to understand their frustration level so that you can help them. Part of sales is being able to deal with our emotions first. We need a high emotional quotient, which means being aware of what our emotions are and keeping them in check. So, do is do an emotional temperature check with everyone in the shop. This is how we show people we care.
  3. Do an emotional temperature check with our customers. For example, Pennsylvania mandated that everyone wear masks. Imagine a customer comes into your shop not wearing a mask. That customer is a bit belligerent.  They think masks are a pain and not necessary.  This customer feels put out.  But, emotionally, that customer could be stressed about money, maybe there's things going on in their family and this mask thing is just the last straw. Don’t just say, “You have to wear a mask,” and leave it at that.

    Don’t meet their behavior with like behavior, that's called complimentary reactions. When we have those complimentary reactions, the situation generally escalates. And that is what I want to help you avoid. Instead, you should help. Think about this. I ask someone to put their hand up. I then put my hand up against theirs and push. Guess what they do? They automatically push back without thinking about it.  It just happens.  That's just our human behavior. That's the danger of complementary behaviors.

    You should use a non-complimentary reaction to their behavior. When you have someone is not wearing a mask, very nicely ask if they will wear one.. Or if someone has a foul attitude, instead of getting pushy, reach out and connect them. Connect with people with where they're at. For example, if I a customer seems like they're really agitated, I will say, “Hey Randy, you really seem tired today. Is everything okay? Is there something I can do to help you?” Connect and see that person because people can feel unheard. They can feel unseen. They can feel out of control and get frustrated. Some people are ready to snap. You must be aware and reach out and touch them emotionally first Then you can say, “Look, I understand how you feel. This is frustrating for you. But, if someone comes in and sees you not wearing a mask, they can shut my shop down. Could you please do me a favor? I know you're not worried about it. There are people out there that are going to feel safer because of it and I care enough about those people to wear the mask. Could you help me out and do the same just for a little bit, please?”

You need to do these emotional temperature checks every day while all this is going on. You must be the center of calm. That's why you do the emotional temperature check first yourself. You've got to do that first and get yourself in the right in the head, right in the mind to move forward. Don't pretend it's not there.

I woke up this morning and I felt a little defeated this morning. I really did. I felt defeated. I don't know why, I just did. I asked myself that question, “Is it real?” And the answer is no, of course it's not. So, at that point I thought about what I was grateful for? And I talked to Brenda about it and it made all the difference in the world. So be aware of how you're feeling. It makes a huge difference. Then do an emotional temperature check every morning with your team.  You could have a tech that's on simmer where all it will take is one thing for that tech to blow. So, do this emotional temperature check every morning.

Let people know what's going on. And then from there, train your staff to connect with your customers emotionally. Everyone will connect with them on the car level. But see the person first. Connect with the person first. Literally it could save someone's life. You don't know how frustrated they may be. So please deal with this in your shop, in your business, and even with people that you're dealing with outside of work.

I hope this helps Take care. God bless.

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