Wow. I had a bad customer service experience over the holidays. While visiting one of my favorite stores, I encountered a Scrooge who did not like working. To be fair, it was busy and the dressing rooms were a disaster. (Don’t you wonder about people who won’t hang up the clothes they try on?)
Instead of apologizing for a mix up, Ms. Scrooge replied, “I don’t know. That’s not my job.” Ouch. I wasn’t trying to stir up work drama, like I talk about in the video below, but I asked to speak to her manager.
Her manager didn’t appear after two calls and waiting several minutes. Finally, she called saying she was on break. I left without purchasing my merchandise.
Coming off of the busy holiday season and New Year, stress levels are high and people don’t communicate like they should. Don’t be a Scrooge. Instead, if you encounter a customer with a problem, here are some tips from my book Stop Complainers and Energy Drainers which encourage constructive feedback:
- Listen to them without judgment. Most people simply want their concerns acknowledged or to be heard.
- Don’t blame them. Remember, the client or customer is the reason for your job and your paycheck. Your role is to hear them and help continue their relationship with you and your organization if possible.
- Show appreciation for the information. Instead of walking out to tell their friends about bad service, these clients are allowing you an opportunity to fix an issue. Show gratitude for their time and effort. In fact, say, “Thanks for bringing that problem to my attention.”
- You may be in the wrong. Try, “What can we do to make this right?” or “What do you think is fair?” Often, people will settle for an apology or ask for very little.
- Know when it is time to get help from your supervisor. Most leaders want to know if a problem exists and thank you for the information. Managers can’t be everywhere and mistakes happen. The opportunity to quickly correct an issue often results in a loyal customer.
This year do your best to be of good cheer with everyone you encounter. Many people are battling personal challenges. You never know when friendly words can turn someone’s day around or give them hope. And if you see people giving great customer service, cheer them on! Let their managers know so you can encourage them.
P.S. Be of Good Cheer this year! Thanks Small Meetings Magazine for featuring my article, How to Be your Own Cheerleader.