Tis the Season…
- Remember The Golden Rule– Treat others as you want to be treated. Pretty simple. How would you feel if you were on the receiving end of what you are dishing out?
- Don’t Be a Bully— Pushing around the sales clerk by raising your voice, making unreasonable demands, and showing utter contempt for their very existence does not make you powerful, it just makes you a bully and a jerk. When you see someone act this way what do you think of them?
- Don’t Make Threats— The go-to move for bullies and also a favorite of the frustrated. Threatening to report a company to the Better Business Bureau, your thirty-two Twitter followers, or the nearest Salvation Army Bell Ringer is not productive and almost always unwarranted.
- Adjust Your Expectations— Expecting great service is your prerogative; expecting great service to mean that the company does whatever you want, whenever you want, and for as little as you are willing to pay is not. Companies that lose money to make customers happy do not last long.
- Communicate on the Companies Terms – When the company suggest a specific method of communication for Customer Service it’s because that is what they are set up to handle well. Oh, BTW, you’re not the center of the universe, it might take a reasonable amount of time to resolve a problem.
- Email is not a License to Kill, 007 – Always start polite, you can go all secret agent on them if they blow you off. Most of the time if you use the magic word, “Please” you will get what you need to the best of the person’s ability to serve you.
- Give The Company Every Opportunity to Solve The Problem— Are you really concerned with the problem or does it just feel good to complain? Give the company a chance to fix the problem before taking away your business or tattling on social media.
- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood— It’s always fun to hear yourself talk, but maybe try listening and even understanding before declaring war.
- Separate the Person from the Policy– This is one of the most difficult challenges, even for the usually fair-minded. Some company policies can be personally frustrating; don’t shoot the messenger. Chances are they did not create the policy and do not have a choice but to enforce it.
- Separate The Person from the Performance– People screw up. There is a big difference between an accident and negligence, between a mistake and malice.
A Good Customer Should…
Here are few things you can do proactively to be a good customer…
- Say Please and Thank You— Your mother already told you this; you should listen to her. Just doing this will get you more customer service than you can imagine.
- Understand Tipping Protocols— It’s important to understand the tipping expectations, if any, of the business you are patronizing. I have had the most trouble with this one historically, but smart phones are magical things.
- Ask For The Manager— OK, then say something nice about the employee that served you.
- Parent Your Kids—You chose to bring your children to the store/restaurant. If you can’t control them, they get to ruin your trip to the store or meal not everyone else’s. Take them outside or offer them a trip to the bathroom where they can be punished in relative privacy. You’re not their buddy, you are there parent, act like it.
- Put Down Your Cell Phone—Most calls really can wait. If you can’t dump the call, at least, lower the phone, smile at the person helping you and apologize for being rude. Don’t talk at the top of your lungs, nobody is impressed that you have a cell phone, most 12 year olds have them too.
Relax and enjoy your Holiday Season, be kind the whole year round.