After receiving an irate parent email, here’s how to begin to turn around the situation and make that parent a new friend.
- Write a draft response.
- Don’t hit reply. Open a NEW DRAFT.
- Don’t send.
- Go to bed.
- Review in the morning when you’re less emotional.
- Send an NEW email to the parent requesting a phone number and a good time to call.
- When you’re calm, make the phone call and get the parent on the line.
- While on the call…
- Open the call by asking them to clarify their email
- Try to understand their perspective.
- Rephrase their perspective in your words
- You may be wrong. If so, apologize.
- You also have the right to disagree, but NEVER have a pissing contest. Be firm on policy being for the benefit of the kids.
- Remember: They just want to be heard.
- Apologize only for the things that you mean to apologize for. Don’t just apologize to shut them up. This doesn’t help you.
- If you disagree, explain to them how your side benefits THEM/THEIR CHILD. Never talk about the benefits to you or your program. They’re more likely to understand your perspective if they see the benefits for them!
- PRO TIP: “While I have you on the phone…I’d like your opinion on something…” (Ben Franklin Effect)
- GOAL: Leave as friends.