October 22, 2006

The Customer is ALWAYS Right..... and other such nonsence

"That's a buncha Crap!" I told my customer. She was stunned and I was of such myths. She asked.."What did you say to me?" So i repeated very slowly "That's.... a... BUNCHA... Crap! I recognize that you are my customer and you are upset at yourself that you made this terrible mistake and would like me to correct it a the cost of the company. But you accusing me of making the mistake, does not make you automatically right, just as me calling you a tree doesnt automatically make you a tree. The customer is NOT always right, however, I feel that as a customer you should aways feel satisfied, do I will split the cost of reshipping the items you meant to order."

A moment of silence for my job... and from her.

Then she said.... "you're right. I will agee with what you've said and I accept the offer for spliting the cost of shipping that is more than fair and very generous."

Hell, i thought so. Since we have a recording of her placing her order and telling us the incorrect thing she DID in fact purchase.

See, this is how I work.. Im more apt accept human error truth than an arrogant made up accusation that's come at me in defense. I have more respect for those customers that call and say... "Hey, I messed up, can ya help me out." then those who pull something like... "Well yes I gave the wrong item number but my records show I've never ordered this, I've always ordered the other one and you should have known." First of all.... We're only psychic on Tuesday and this is friday. Second of all... when you call your past history of purchasing with us doesnt appear before my eyes, if you dont know what you want, I REALLY don't know what you want.

Being a customer care person is not something that just anyone can do. If you work an inbound 800 line each call is like a time bomb... some go off and some never do. Thank goodness for those who never do. Some people make the same mistakes month after month after month and have the nerve to get upset when we have to put an end to it and say "no" or I'm sorry we just arent able to extend yet ANOTHER exception to you.
Some people are just not honest. I figure, well if you wanna go to hell for lying, cheating or stealing, what do I care? They blame Customer Service for their mistakes and errors and then make it seem as if they're entitled to be rewarded for them.
And you try to educate them so they can avoid making or teaching the mistake to others and they get sooo soo soooo defensive. My favorite line in an Educating moment..
"well HOW and I supposed to know this stuff?"
"well Ma'am it's in the policies and proceedures guidelines book."
"I'm busy I didn't read it."
"well, ok it's also published on the website and in the monthly and bimonthly magazines you recieved"
"oh you think i have time to sit and read all this stuff?"
slightly irritated by now..."well, ma;am. you simply asked me how you were supposed to know this stuff. I am simply providing you with where you can find it. I understand you are busy and might not have time to read all the literature. However, as a company we do provide the answering to your questions and make it easily available. We cannot call you and our other 158,000 distributors personally and tell you these things."
"I run a business and it is impossible for me to close my store just to read your literature."
Very irritated by now: "Ok Ma'am. Part of taking on the responsibility of owning a business is keeping yourself updated and educated on changes within the company."
Oh, and don't ever pull this... on me... "you get paid to deal with this."
"I do not get paid to be belittled, and disrespected and will disconnect the line without a second thought. We can deal with each other like civil adults Or i can hang up, you can call back, wait another 8 minutes and get a different Rep who will take it, cuz I'm not the one!"

I really do have to give my bosses props for knowing our personalities and allowing them to have them. I've gotten a couple of low marks on evalutations when I have to have those conversations. But to me they are worth it because it allows me to not be a doormat. I will not take unfair personal remarks, I will no allow you to belittle my coworkers, or myself and i don't care who you are on the other end of my phone.

GRRRRRRRRR! I hate people like that and yet, I LOVE people like that.
We call them "job security!"

Some people are angels. We have a few customers that everyone loves to get on the other end of the phone. They are so nice, even if we do make a mistake. We're as human as they are and they realize it! Some members we know by voice, have their account numbers memorized and will give them ANY AND EVERYTHING they want and more, simply because they treat us with respect and kindness even in our errors. I know that's alot to ask for customers who are upset. But it happens and we love it when it does.
Some of our customer we know. They send us nice little trinkets of thanks. Man that totally makes you want to do a great job for them and others. It's not expected but it's a bonus.

For the most part I love my job. On person can mess up your whole day, if you let them. One person can make your whole day, if you let them.
Naw... you pretty much decide by attitude what kind of day you're going to have. Some days you have it in ya to brush it all off. Some days you don't, but it's always a choice.

Ok... now a couple more myths.....

Give a man a fish, he can eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he can eat for a lifetime. yeah i know there's a point to that... but here's my point...

What if he don't like, or is allergic to fish? People are tooo satisfied of doing the bare minimum of things.
Here's a conversation I find myself in all too often:

I'll ask someone in authority a question such as...
" are there special materials we need to cover or bring to the training siminar tomorrow"
" I don't know" (end of discussion for them.)

" well, are you going to find so we can properly be prepared?"
"oh, sure, I guess you may need to know that info." (nooo crapola!)

What is THAT about? I encounter that at work, at church....with friends.

Maybe I'm a micro manager? I dont think so, it's possible. I do believe in giving people as much info about things as possible so they are prepared for whatever they're trying to achieve.
Should I just stick with generalities and be ok with them?

Whatever happened to follow through or seeing something done to completion?

Teach a man to fish, and he's stuck with fish all his life. Yeah, it's better than nothing, unless he's allergic to seafood. But why not teach a man to fish and plant and hunt so he can really be educated. Know what I mean?

And if life give me lemons, I'm not just gonna add some sugar and make lemonade. Lemonade is just Sweet covered Sour. If life give me lemons, I'm going to go out and find the making for lemon bars, or lemon cream pie. Sometimes when life give you lemons, you need to take those lemons as motivation to go out and get what you really want out of life. Use it for motivation to achieve something better, dont just "Pour some sugar on me...." and call it good cuz in most cases it won't solve the issue, just cover it up until it comes back again. AND it does come back again.

*Got any age old "wisdom" that just doesn't seem like wisdom anymore?


Ruby G said...

Did I ever tell you that you're the best? Its true.

Jesse said...

I get the same kind of thing. If we're processing an RMA, obviously we're going to send the replacement out overnight shipping on the house and not require a credit card number to secure the return of the bad part, right?

I think some folks have an inflated expectation of how a situation will be corrected. You're not entitled to anything more than being made whole.

Glen said...

Yup...I have had the same thing. Sometimes it is from a dealer that has been spoiled by someone else. At that point, I just calmly inform them that there has been a change in policy and that we are willing to work with them but there are certain things we ask them to do.
In the end, they either make the changes that I ask of them or not. Usually they do and learn how things are SUPPOSED to be done. It makes things so much easier.

Kipluck aka: BethAnn, Bob, Mayberry said...

Sometimes reading what you do... which is basically what I WAS doing makes me MISS work, other times makes me dread going back. Right now doing anything other than siting around in doctors' offices with a headache sounds good... but then again...

Yeah, you are GOOOOOOOD at what you do. Geez.

Anonymous said...

I've discovered that the customer is usually wrong. Of course, "good customer service" starts with good customers.

At least you can't get court-martialed for mouthing off to a customer. :-)

-- Jahn