Oh, the stories that I could tell, that we all could tell, about unique and unusual customer experiences. I have often thought about putting them all together in a book, however, it would be a challenge to simply capture them all with them occurring so frequently. And just when I think I have just about heard and seen it all, along comes an even more unbelievable experience!
In today's marketplace, if you truly want to differentiate yourself from your competitors, simply focus on providing the best customer experience and service possible and you will definitely lead the pack. Even the smallest changes in your service culture can make a big difference. So, in support of these efforts, here are Five Things That Your Customers Don't Really Want to Hear to help get the ball rolling.
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1. How Bad You Feel. There is no need to share with your customer how tired you are. Chances are they have had a long day as well and are just as tired or more tired than you are. If you have made the decision to come into work that day, then you should be there to provide the best experience possible for your customer, focusing on them and how they feel.
2. Your Career Goals. While it is certainly admirable to achieve for higher aspirations, telling your customer why you are working there now, or that you really work somewhere else full-time is definitely sending the wrong message that you are embarrassed to be there waiting on them and would rather be somewhere else. Take pride in the job you have and focus on helping the customer. Everyone works different jobs during different seasons in their life and most people understand and relate to that; they are not there to judge you, only appreciate your willingness to assist them with best attitude possible.
"Focus your attention on the customer and their needs, not yours. Your kind words and smile may be the only pleasant interaction they have experienced in a while."
3. Your Dislike of Company Policies. During a recent shopping experience, I had a nice woman at the register ask me, “Is there anything else I can assist you with today?” which I appreciated very much until she came right behind it before I could answer and told me how much she hated to ask that and didn’t understand why the company made her say it to everyone. Unspoken customer interpretation? “I really don’t care if you need anything else and certainly don’t want to have to ask you about it.” Be genuine and sincere in your customer conversations. If you are not comfortable in doing so, then you may be in the wrong position.
4. Your Thoughts about Other Customers or Employees. I cannot tell you the number of times that an employee has gone into a long tale about the last crazy person they waited on or expressed dislike at something a customer said or did. I always wonder what they are going to say about me when I walk away. And the same goes for your fellow employees; don’t throw them under the bus either. Now if you are trying to right a wrong committed by another employee to the customer, simply apologize on behalf of the organization you represent and focus on the impact to the customer and how to make it right.
5. Your Side Conversations with Other Team Members. So, many times I have been waited on and during the whole transaction, the person waiting on me was in a lengthy conversation with another employee, while never speaking to me whatsoever. They talk about their work schedule, what they are going to when the get off and any number of topics, all while making me feel as though my being there was “interrupting” their conversation. Your mother taught you better; just don’t do it. During customer interactions, you should be completely focused on the customer; facing them, smiling at them, and talking to them . . . about THEM, not you.
So, what’s the bottom line? Stay focused on the customer, with a pleasant, friendly attitude and you can make a huge difference in the life of your customer and your organization. Remember: Your kind words and smile may be the only pleasant interaction they have experienced in a while.