Are your customers and team members complaining more than usual?

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January 19, 2022
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March 17, 2022

Are your customers and team members complaining more than usual?

Do they seem to be angrier than the complaint warrants?

This month I have been approached by 5 different clients, in the senior living sector, to run workshops on Complaint Management and De-escalation techniques. Is this a coincidence or is this indicative of a trend?

In running these workshops, I have been reflecting on why this might be a growing trend and what might be causing that?

If we reflect on the work of the neuroscientist – Dr David Rock – he shares with us that every one of us has 5 sets of UNSTATED needs – better known as the SCARF model.

We all have a Need for :
Status – a need to be seen as relevant, significant, and competent
Certainty – a need for predictability, reassurance, guarantees
Autonomy – a need to make our own decisions and to be in control
Relatedness – a need to connect and belong to a community, a team, or a family
Fairness – a need to be treated equally and not to be discriminated against.

When these needs are NOT met, the brain processes them as a “THREAT” which in turn triggers an EMOTIONAL reaction rather than a RATIONAL response to a situation or event.

As we enter the 3rd year of a global pandemic, our needs for Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and even to some degree Fairness – are being consistently challenged. This would in some way explain the heightened emotional reactions we are receiving from our customers and our team members. Sometimes the complaints do not even seem that relevant or important – but they are simply an outward demonstration of a much deeper need for some Certainty, Autonomy and Relatedness.

The rules keep changing, the ability to mix socially with loved ones and friends is restricted and our choices to travel, work and run our lives are now more limited.This is particularly more so in the Aged Care and Retirement living sector.

So, what can we do with this?

  • Before simply addressing the complaint – reflect on that person’s individual needs and explore which of Dr Rock’s SCARF needs might be the most challenged for that person right now.
  • Start a discussion and ask some OPEN Questions to bring to light some of the underlying UNSTATED needs that are triggering this emotional reaction. Try to address these – rather than simply trying to address the STATED need… which is probably only about 10% of the actual problem.

In this way – hopefully, you get to address the Cause, rather than the Symptom.

If nothing else, it will help you have a better and more compassionate understanding of why your customers or team members might be reacting the way they are.

So remember…when all is said and done
Be Bold
Be Curious.

Please give me a call, or send me an email, to discuss how I can support you and or your team.

Call me on 0430 072 079 or Email: jacqui@jacquiperkins.com.au

My promise rings true – I’m with you all the way!
Jacqui Perkins
Jacqui Perkins
Jacqui combines real-life experience with in-depth knowledge. Her unique way of delivery is direct and engaging, which cuts through any resistance and allows people to let down their guard and open up to learning. A compassionate coach, you will get complete commitment and support through your challenges and growth. Her tried and tested methods work.

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