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Monday, August 3, 2009

Losing a Battle but Winning the War

Good customer service will win the war.

I don't know about you, but I'm fed up with lousy customer service. You know what I'm talking about: clerks who chat with their friends and completely ignore you, sales reps who bypass you for someone who looks like a better prospect, phone service people who have no idea how to actually help you, grouchy employees who are downright rude that you would have the nerve to interrupt their day with a simple request.

There are stores that I no longer patronize because every time I step foot in the store, I'm treated with contempt. Wake up, people! I'm your customer, I'm the reason you stay in business. Yes, I'm just one, but I have friends and family and neighbors who hear about the lousy service I received at your establishment. When they ask me for recommendations, your business won't be anywhere near my list, in fact it will be on my list of places to avoid. The ones with polite employees who actually seem happy to help will be the ones who get mentioned, even if the prices are a little higher.

So how do you get good employees? You create them. Treat them well and they will treat your customers well. Show them decency, courtesy, and respect. Then train them to show those same qualities to your customers.

True, a rude, impatient customer can be hard to deal with but that is no excuse for a lack of professionalism from the employee or manager. There are a few that can't be satisfied no matter what you do, but most people just want their complaint addressed. Listen politely and then offer what you can. It will go a long way to mending customer opinion.

Before I leave my soapbox, I want to make a plea for a return of common courtesy. Treat others the way you want treated and even if they don't respond in kind, you'll come out the winner.

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