As we prepare for the 4th of July Holiday next week I thought I’d take a look at an area of customer service that is often neglected and overlooked. I’d like to share with you three simple, yet powerful, statements to NEVER use when dealing with your customers. I share these three based on how atrocious most businesses are when it comes to delivering consistent and above average customer service.
You’d think in today’s super competitive market that people would treat customers like gold and avoid dumb things. As everyone knows, the level of service in most businesses leaves a lot to be desired. Here’s a powerful way to look at it:
GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE = GREATER REPEAT & REFERRAL BUSINESS
#1. “Sorry, it’s our company policy.” This is so ridiculous to even point out, but here’s why I listed it: the customer of today has a TON of options to choose from and they don’t give a damn about your company policies. No disclaimers here. Common sense shouldn’t have to be explained. Folks, it’s called the ‘Golden Rule’ and it’s timeless. Mention this to the next fool who utters this to you directly or within your presence.
#2. “We’re really short-staffed right now.” Again, do you really think the customer cares about your problems? They want to spend money with you without the drama and excuses. They don’t own the company, do they? Think about this excuse a little closer. In the age of the Internet, in many instances, especially if we get the runaround, we simply click on Google or Amazon to find a possible candidate/replacement that can help us get what we’re looking for.
The customer of today is easily wired to the web via their phone and other mobile computing devices so they have the choice to either reward competence or punish those firms and people who’ve missed the memo. Never forget that the customer signs your paycheck.
#3. “Let me check with my manager.” Yes, still sadly used -especially in the auto business with impunity- and this timeless statement raises the blood pressure of many a possible customer for a variety of reasons, with the main one being that it telegraphs poor training and incompetence. Yah, yah in some situations it’s warranted, but often times it’s a sign that employees or staff are not empowered to think or act on their own to help a customer.
Invest in ongoing training and let your people act like adults and not teenagers that have to be watched all the time. With unemployment so low, many businesses should seek out people with great attitudes and a willingness to learn new skills when looking to fill.
So, until next time have a great day, avoid these three statements like the plague, and thanks again for your time and attention!