On one of the RYZE Networks I am active on (Small Business Think Tank), the question of the day a few days ago was regarding Customer Service and how we react to bad service.
Here’s what I wrote:
It is rare that I have a bad service experience, although that was not always the case :).
In order for the experience to be pleasant for me, I consider it my job to make it pleasant for the person providing the service. I do that by working to change the server's attitude BEFORE it becomes bad. How? By checking MY Attitude beforehand and beginning with a smile. I have found when I am in a rush and seem annoyed, it is projected to the sales person and if they too are having a bad day, it just escalates the situation. You would be surprised just how much of the service equation is in our control.
I usually begin by using her or his name - why? Because most people don't. By addressing the person by name, it creates a familiarity which disarms most people from being rude. I then ask their opinion about something relative to what I want. If its dinner, I ask what they suggest or what's good on the menu, what's the most popular or even what sells out the quickest. I might even ask what they would choose? On more than one ocassion the server has said to me "Oh, I NEVER eat here!" It's a great conversation starter. And when you engage them, they are more likely to push your order through - especially when you are in a hurry.
If there is something to compliment the person about (such as her smile, his tie or another personal attribute) I do so. Maybe the person isn't having a good day because the last person they waited on just did a number on their self-esteem so I figure it's my job to balance the scales.
At the end of EVERY transaction I always say thank you for the great service and wish them a great day.
BTW, I learned a lot of these techniques from my dear friend BOB BURG, who is the author of Endless Referrals and Winning Without Intimidation. He has a wonderful newsletter of the same title which is filled with tips to make every interaction with another end on a positive note.
What's Your Experience?