Make it personal but don’t take it personally.
And here are some additional thoughts on this topic…
One of my favorite lines in one of my favorite movies (You’ve Got Mail) is when Meg Ryan’s character says:
Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.
Despite what Donald Trump likes to say, I agree with Meg Ryan’s character. Whatever we do should always be personal. Just because we’re getting paid to help someone doesn’t mean it should be a cold, impersonal, unfeeling transaction. Leave that for the auto-attendants and self-service checkouts. People like working with people who like people. We’re attracted to others who treat us well. And making it personal means we treat others well.
But, don’t get caught in the trap of taking things personally at work. When a customer is angry or complaining, it’s easy to believe they’re blaming us. They’re not. They’re venting. They are blaming the system, the company or maybe a co-worker. Remind yourself to let the negative stuff bounce off your Teflon coated hide. Don’t take it personally.
For the next three days, review how you work with customers. How could you make your interactions more personal, more warm, more human? Would it help to see your customers as a friend or family member?