Customer care is never easy. Especially when you encounter a grieving client. In my experience working as a customer care representative in a call center, I had encountered people who cried with me on the phone and have shown that they were in pain.
Ralph Waldo Emerson has rightly said, “Sorrow makes us all children again – destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing.”
Professionals in the business industries are aware of the problems and crises clients encounter as they face several uncertain challenges and difficulties that life presents. Usually, people face personal and professional grief in life and our clients are not any different.
In these crucial times of need and help, many people wonder how can they support their clients. Generally, people struggle with what to say or what to do to give service and support.
It is important to be aware of the grief and loss of your client and understand your responsibility towards the grieving client. You can offer genuine support to your client who is enduring a loss. You can use this as an opportunity to fortify your relationship with trust and care.
I wanted to write this article to show that your role as a brand, and as importantly, customer care, you are also there to help your clients emotionally. And sometimes, this can be very difficult to do and face.
Be Cognizant about the Grief of the Client
Loss is a ubiquitous condition occurring throughout human life and it appears in multiple forms. Loss has been delineated as a death-denying custom and clients are no different.
Clients experience loss and grief due to a lot of changes in life roles, death of a loved one, loss of employment, functional loss, or loss of ability. It is a universal fact that no person is immune; still, at the time of grief, people are often uncertain about how to help or what to do to make their client comfortable.
There is a category of grief that is oftentimes neglected. It is more of a symbolic loss. When a loss is experienced, the griever fights with a more difficult bereavement. The circumstances trigger the loss of dreams and hopes. This results in the grief of the unfulfilled expectations. And in this situation, the client struggles to find significance that does not appear to make any kind of sense to them.
Amy Florian, CEO of consulting company Corgenius and a grief expert has said that "Grief is triggered when you leave anything behind, whether you are leaving behind your dream, a role, or your goals for the future.
In these uncertain times of loss and grief, clients need a confidante who understands how to give useful and thoughtful support, beyond the business things.
Understanding and Responding to the Grieving Client
When you meet a grieving client, a more profound understanding of their grief can be valuable. Unresolved grief can shatter the self-worth of the client, intervene with the cognitive role, and can leave the person emotional and reluctant or unable to function in their businesses and affairs.
Grief can make the most powerful personality helpless. It may even precipitate violence, clinical depression, or even severe physical illness. This potential impact of grief can make the bereaved client unable to manage business decisions.
In this situation, it is valuable to witness another person’s grief and offer honest encouragement and support to your customer care. This can help in channelizing the grief’s power toward completeness. It is true that no one has the answers or can ease the pain, but the words of encouragement can help the client in dealing with the complexities and burdens. Your understanding and practical assistance can support the client in understanding the situation better.
Everyone has an enormous potential to support a grieving person. Here are some of the important tips on how you can respond to a grieving client:
1. Be there for them. ALWAYS & ALWAYS!
The best support you can give your client is your presence. It is the most helpful thing you can provide to your grieving client at a time of crisis. Try to offer them hope for a renewed life. People always remember the person who offered them reassuring hope, the belief that everything will get better, and who encouraged them to make the step-by-step passage from pain toward a rejuvenated life.
2. Listen and understand their grief
A sympathetic listener is an incredible thing for a person in grief. Listen and try to understand the pain and grief of your client. People oftentimes work through trauma and grief by narrating their stories again and again. The person in grief just wants others to listen to them and not a piece of advice. It's the understanding, not the advice that is sorely needed.
3. Offer new business hopes and opportunities to your client
Grief can trigger the loss of hopes and dreams. The client can struggle to find importance and significance. At this time, you can offer new business hopes and opportunities to your client. This will also help your client to elevate from the situation.
4. Let your concern and care show
Show your emotions. Your concern and care can normalize your client's grief. Your sensitivity can help your client to deal with challenging situations. No-one stands higher than the one who reaches out and gives a supporting hand to the one who is down.
Witnessing the grief of your client can give you extraordinary life lessons. You will learn valuable things about human nature. Your presence and support will provide mutual healing. The capacities described above can help your client to deal with the mourning situation.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever had a moment where you just do not know how to help a client emotionally?
Happy Client, Happy You!!