My Positive Day #17 by Bandjou

Bandjou Touré is a talented Business/ Process analyst at ADNEOM. Before starting working for the Positive Thinking Company, Bandjou had a rather unusual first experience as Junior Client Service Officer which turned out to be a very good life lesson ! Discover it here:

“This story happened more than a decade ago, when I was a junior Client Service Officer. My colleagues used to deal with Client X who was always angry. I’m a naturally positive person who does not get upset easily. This is the reason why I could not quite understand why my colleagues would get scared to deal with this particular client. It did not take long before I find it by myself…

One evening, during the late shift I was alone in the office. My task was to pick up phone calls and reply to emails after the regular working hours. I was doing my job until that one phone call:

“Good evening, my name is Bandjou Touré. How can I help you?”

“You are speaking with Client X. Why was my email not replied yet?”

The client was once again quite angry that he did not receive a reply to an email he had sent… 48 hours ago. I was trapped!

The junior employee that I was could not do anything else but try his best to provide the client with a satisfactory reply. So, I very carefully replied to the email, making sure every point was covered so the client would find it very clear and structured. I had given it my very best! When I left the office that night, I was very proud of myself and confident I did a good job.

I woke up with a big smile on the next day because I knew that when I would open my mailbox I would find an email saying “Bandjou, thank you very much for the perfect reply!” from Client X. I had already planned to show it to my senior colleagues with a look in my eyes that would say “This client is not that difficult, after all”.

I did receive an email from this client… It was indeed a reply to the email I had sent the night before… BUT it was definitely not saying “thank you”… Instead, Client X put a negative comment to almost every answer I had provided. Needless to say, my manager was also in copy… No more smile on my face, it had become personal!

But my last contact with this client could not remain a defeat: This was unacceptable to me! I started reviewing my notes from the “Manage angry clients” training I had followed several months before, and this, with the mental of Rocky Balboa training to defeat Ivan Drago in Rocky IV!

Right before calling Client X, I took a deep breath and I tried to remember as much as I could from the “Manage angry clients” training. In my head, I could hear the main principles with a fading echo:

  • Remain positive and be confident the issue will be solved
  • Do not interrupt the angry client when he/she is talking
  • Do not necessarily apologize but make sure you acknowledge any of the client’s grief
  • Finish the conversation with a summary of the client’s points and the actions you will take so the client will know you understood his/her concerns.

The phone conversation went surprisingly well! Contrary to the email exchanges, the tone of the conversation was very friendly. At times, I even doubted I was speaking to the same person who wrote the email. I followed the plan and in the end, all the issues were solved.

The situation changed from having an angry client and a frustrated employee to: Everybody is happy!

This experience remains my all-time reference whenever I face a difficult situation and it also influenced my motto: “A bad situation can only turn good if you stay positive !”

Bandjou Touré
Business/ Process Analyst at ADNEOM

Do you want more stories like this? Read Rémy’s Positive Day, Business Manager at ADNEOM. You got a personal story to share? Tell us about it My Positive Day form!

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