Just another day observing customer service. You may agree stuff happens, but when you are the customer and it happens over and over again, there may be something fundamentally wrong. I was on vacation last week. After my bike ride I stopped by a coffee shop for a cup of iced decaf. I ordered one regular and one decaf with soy milk. The man who took my order and called it out to to the barista, “Two large iced coffees- one regular and one decaf.” After you’ve placed your order you move to the next window to pick it up. The window is high but I could see the fellow pouring two regular coffees. I said, Excuse me, I ordered one decaf and one regular.” IGNORE – “Excuse me, excuse me!” IGNORE – His co-worker said, “You need to answer this customer.” He turned around and in a tense voice he said, “You ordered two regulars.’” I said, “I did not order that and I would like one of each and you are starting to really upset me.” He set the two cups up on the counter and I say, in a firm voice, “I need this order changed, please make one of these a decaf.” He dumped the regular, poured the decaf and set both on the counter with a 1/2 gallon of soy milk not open. I unscrewed the cap and begin to pull the pull tab. The carton hit my two coffees and someone else’s and the coffee flies everywhere. The cashier runs over and says, “Not the first time and it won’t be the last, we will clean it up and it would have been much worse if the milk had spilled.” Now I’m standing in a puddle of coffee and watching him pour two more cups of coffee. He’s beginning to lose it and I’m starting to think coffee might not be a good idea. They clean up the mess, hand me the coffees. The co-worker looks at me, shrugs his shoulders and says, “Sorry.”
I’m thinking this guy had no training and, on top of that, no manners. Why would anyone hire this guy? But the real question is, would you allow someone in your business to treat a customer this way? Let’s look at three ideas for handling the situation.
- Keep your emotions at home, don’t mix business with personal stuff. My guess is he came to work with other issues.
2. Don’t ever IGNORE a customer, deal with the issue immediately because it won’t go away.
3. Apologize even when you are wrong. I might even add with the apology a free cup of coffee next time you come in.
There are a lot of ways to handle situations when things go wrong but IGNORE isn’t one of them!!!
Carol serves as a featured writer for the Home News. Carol is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million dollar marketing, and building organizational alliances throughout the country. Carol’s creative leadership provides bullet proof ideas for recruiting MORE MEMBERS, MORE MONEY AND BETTER LEADERS to your team. www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 firstname.lastname@example.org Like Carol on Caroltalks and CarolCoaches! Carol S. Ritter, Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia and St. Luke’s University Hospital Visiting Nurses Association & Hospice.