By Nancy Friedman, Keynote/Workshop Customer Service Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training
It shouldn’t matter what industry; there simply are things that should NOT – OK, NEVER, be said to customers.
I received this email from a LinkedIn friend (@Joan Lerch) about an exasperating answer to a statement she recently experienced. She joins the long list of what not to say to a customer. Read her short, yet great, story.
Do not tell an unhappy customer they should NOT be unhappy.
Denver hotel clerk at 6:30 am: “How was everything?”
Customer: “Well, not great. No hot water and a very early flight. Had to scamper down the hall to the room next door and grab a shower with still chilly, but bearable water.”
Clerk: “Oh well! Sometimes the water just takes a while to make the trip. You know, just like at home!”
Customer: “No. At home the faucet produces HOT water. Every time.” (The first clerk said “the plumbing in that part of the building is problematic.”)
Why is it so difficult to acknowledge a screw-up?
Thank you, Joan, for sharing. I hear lots of horror stories; things customers cannot believe people say to them.
Here’s my own personal list said to me this weekend in different settings:
• “I’ll be right with you.” Said the waitress 3 times as she passed our table and served others who came in AFTER us. (No explanation.)
• “Ma’am, I’m just trying to help you.” Said in an aggravated tone after I told clerk: “I’m OK; thanks anyway.”
• “No problem.” Said 8 times no matter what I said.
• “Browse all you want. I’m here if you need me.” No card given. No handshake. No real welcome.
• “We don’t do that. You can call one of the repair stores – they may.” Had to ask for the repair store’s phone number.
• “Honey,” “sweetie” or “dear.” (By men or women.) Don’t know their name? ASK!!! Trust me you’ll be more popular.
Let me hear from you. Things that you were told as a customer. Any industry is welcome.