November 3, 2014
So, okay. You go into an establishment, looking for something specific (service or product), only to be told “I don’t know.” What about that infamous “that’s not my department.” How about the good ‘ol “uh huh.” Sound familiar?Let’s attack these 15 phrases one by one:
• I don’t know: Instead of saying this, why not just say “let me find out for you”?
• All sales are final: Are they really? Let the customer know to let YOU know if they are NOT satisfied so you can make it right. How about that? Been there before, huh? (wink wink)
• Calm down: This has got to be one of the most infuriating and demeaning things to say to a customer. Just. Don’t. Do. It. Do you REALLY want to know what to say? Okay, you asked for it: I apologize. #BOOM!
• Did you see any: Did YOU see any? Clearly, if a customer is coming to you, that probably means they’ve already checked. So you tell them that you have it and you’ll check into it for them.
• We’re closed: Okay, so what? The customer can see that! They’re really hoping you will make an exception for them. So, simply remind them of your hours and then ask them how you can help them real quick. #happy_customer
• Will that be all? Nah, turn this into an opportunity to see if they need something else by suggesting additional items or services. #value_added
• It’s over there: And your job is to do what? Stand and point? Not a good look! Yes it’s “over there” but how about showing them exactly where it is?
• That’s not my department: No customer EVER wants to hear this phrase. NEVER. EVER. Offer to get the right person for them to help them out.
• We’re out of that: Hmmmm, poor planning? *sighing* In the meantime, let the customer know WHEN it’ll be back in stock, get their contact information, and tell them you will contact them once it is back in stock.
• It’s against our policy: Sure, companies have policies, but a lot of policies are made to be broken. (shhhhh, you didn’t hear that from us!) Announce what the policy is, then let the customer know you’ll see what you can do to make it right.
• I’m new here: A lot of newbies think this lets you off the hook and, sometimes, it does work. However, do you REALLY want to be known for the newbie who can’t do the job right so falls back on that “I’m new here so give me a break” syndrome? How about just asking the customer to bear with you while you get them the help they need?
• Hold on: Really? Do YOU like to be told to hold on? If you have a customer in front of you and you’re helping them, tell them, and then ask if they would hold for a moment.
• I’m busy right now: this should be a no-brainer. “I’d be happy to help you!”
• You’re wrong: No, telling a customer this is not a smart move. Instead, say “I think there has been a misunderstanding”. This allows you to assume the responsibility of being wrong even though the customer might actually be in the wrong.
You see how easy is it is to please a customer and still come out of the situation with your dignity in tact? Oh, and you get to keep a customer, too! #winning
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Until next time….
Your destination into the world of hospitality!