Now the analogy seems a little extreme, or is it? The only area where it perhaps becomes far reached is about losing life or limb. But in extreme conditions I have known people lose their jobs over badly handled customer relationships. I know, as I was part of the fallout in such a situation.
Dealing with customer relationships can be extreme. They are a minefield and require delicate navigation with an escape strategy. We need to know how to escape a customer minefield.
Let’s look at some ways that are recommended to escape a minefield and can help us avoid potential customer relationship explosions.
1. Scope out the situation
Look out for signs that mines are close. Most mines are hidden, but if we know what to look for we’ll have a better chance of avoiding them. Don’t let our guard down, even for a moment. Make sure we understand the hidden signs around us.
2. Stop immediately
The moment we realize we may be in danger, freeze. Do not take another step. Take some time to assess our situation and formulate an escape plan. Our movements need to be careful and considered.
3. Backtrack your way out of a mined area
Should we suspect we have entered a minefield or mined area, either because we see warning signs, see a mine or potential mine, or because a detonation occurs, remain calm and carefully back out of danger by stepping in our footsteps.
Customer relationships can be similar. Without realizing it can we step into an explosive situation because we have not done our homework and we are not observing and listening to the customers concerns.
At the first sign of a real issue we should stop and buy ourselves time. Time to assess our situation, and better understand how we got into this hazardous situation.
Planning or mapping relationships before we get into a potential minefield can help enormously in avoiding danger. So often we just blunder into danger without thinking out a strategy beforehand. What is it the customer wants? What roles are being played and by whom? How can we help them accomplish their goals? How can we bring real value?
Plotting the minefield before entry can go a long way to saving us. However, even if we do find ourselves in danger, we can extricate ourselves to live to fight another day by regrouping and mapping a better route that will avoid the minefield.
Relationship mapping is one such strategy. To find out more, click on this link and start looking at ways to avoid being blown up.