It is almost Thanksgiving and I'm expecting a crowd. That means prepping early and making room for all the goodies. As luck would have it, my freezer died. And although it happened over a month and a half ago, it is still not repaired. The repairman came out and declared we needed a part (an expensive part) and it would take a couple of weeks to get it in. Finally it came in and we had to schedule another appointment for him to come out and install it. It didn't fix the problem so he had to come out again. Another appointment. Like all of you, I'm busy. And I'm frustrated. It still doesn't work. Now I am mad. And sometime next week he will schedule another appointment, and try again. Like I said, I'm expecting a crowd and preparations started a long time ago. But here is the thing. I am mad as hell, but he is as nice as he can possibly be. He acts like he really understands my pain and frustration. He is trying to fix the problem. And it is hard to argue with nice. So normally I would rant and rave about the part that was ordered and paid for that didn't solve the problem or the countless appointments that took up my "valuable" time, and I would probably be justified. But instead I cross my fingers, hope for the best, and schedule another appointment.
The business lesson here is the best way to diffuse an unhappy customer, whether through fault of your own, or the problem came from their end, is be nice. Always be nice, it's hard to argue with nice. (And, as my mother always used to say, "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.") So go out there and be nice.