I know, I know! I'm sorry!!! Okay, I'm not really but hey, I could take a stab at some sense of responsibility for not being her, right? No? Okay, I won't, I was busy, I have a life, I have things to do, like play Endless Blue Ocean and watch West Wing and look for a job. Yeah, still looking for a job. I know what job I would like to have right now after this past week.
The job that would be good for me is to go in and teach others what customer service is about. I mean, seriously, in this poor economy and people hanging onto their money more than ever, you would think that customer service would be a pretty high priority to most businesses since new business is almost non-existent and repeat business is your biggest money maker right now. But still, for some businesses it would seem they not only take the attitude that the customer is never right but dang-it I think I'll humiliate them at the same time, just for kicks and giggles! Which reminds me, I need to make a call to Radio Shack in the mall, be right back.
Okay, I'm back. Now the reason I called them is because while "technically" they didn't do anything wrong, they followed policy and did what they were supposed to do, it was the "way" they handled the situation at hand. I won't go into details but let's just say because one person didn't have the common sense and decency to apologize to my daughter, she no longer wants to shop there. Now there was no real reason for him to apologize since he didn't do anything wrong, he was merely following set rules and regulations but when you have a 14 year old teenage girl at your counter, very upset and distraught over something, the first words you should utter are, "I'm sorry....." followed by why you can or cannot do as she is requesting. Every other store they went into with the problem had an apology and sympathy for the situation, every store but Radio Shack. This upset Ellie and she noticed it. It made a difference to her and how she views that store now. I just talked to "Bob" (yes, his real name) and explained what happened and told him that while the guy was just doing his job, there could have been a little more sympathy on their part. He agreed 100%, said he would talk to his staff and told me to tell Ellie that from now on she was to ask for him and he would make sure she was taken care of. That is good customer service.
Another example of good customer service was the Comfort Inn we stayed in while in Pittsburgh. I wrote a letter explaining about our bad experience in the restaurant the last night and my poor experience during check out (was never asked how my stay was and even when I brought up the restaurant experience, nothing from the desk clerk).
I wrote an email to the manager and explained my experience and why I felt it was important for these issues to be addressed. She emailed back that not only is she refunding our restaurant charge but she's also using my letter as a tool during their next customer service training session.
I go around, I watch, I listen and I think to myself, "You know, the customer is NOT always right, but you need to make them think they are so they won't leave and take their business elsewhere." I watch sales people in stores and I just want to walk up and say, "Here, let me show you how to finish this sale." Or watch customer service in action and so want to step in and apologize for the store when I see the customer getting more and more upset yet the employee is doing nothing to temper the situation.
Maybe that will be my first big book, "The Customer Is NOT Always Right! - You just have to make them think they are." Trademark and copyright symbols here. :)