by Lawrence J. J. Leonard
Ever get confronted by poor customer service? The order was wrong, the invoice did not add up, the sales person was a bit curt, the person you asked for help did not want to look you in the eye… these are all are classic failures of a poorly managed business by the manager/ owner of the establishment.
Why the manager? This is the person who is authorized, designated, and paid to fly the flag for the business. The manager does not care? As a customer, you need to take your business elsewhere. There is no amount of shaming that is effective. All that is required is for the customer to report the facts of the incident(s). All the manager must do is LISTEN to the bad news that is being delivered and make amends.
Let’s start with companies that put trust in their managers and GIVE GOOD SERVICE: Tony Roma’s (global brand – HQ in Plano, Texas); Truett Cathy Family company (Chick-fil-A); Franchisee king Guillermo Perales (Burger Kings, Arby’s, Popeyes – individually); Golden Gate Capital (Red Lobster / California Kitchen). It does not matter if we visit a franchise or a privately owned operation in these cases because the managers responsible make sure that the customer experience is valuable and the customer is appreciated.
Poorly managed business fail #1: When the customer complains and let’s you know that the service or the product was sub-par, the number one classic customer service FAIL is to offer a refund. Often a poor-vision manager will CYA with: “this has never happened before.”
Seriously? It happens every day. You have just been the first customer in a long while to speak up and demand an explanation.
What should the manager do? Find a way to bring the customer back into the establishment. If there is a reservation system, pick a date and schedule that person to return. Then ask for a second chance.
No? Too much in the trenches? Please just get out of the business, then. This type of manager just does NOT appreciate the customer.
Poorly managed business fail #2: When the customer gives you an address and a phone number, make the call! The manager, or the person calling, should be cordial and be prepared to listen. Did you hear? LISTEN. If you react to ANYTHING the customer says, you are the one who is arguing! Managers are authorized to listen.
If you take an attitude and somehow these words come out of your mouth: “Hey! We are doing our job, just because you are not satisfied, well, I dunno,” You just don’t value the customer.
This bitch and moan session might be a GREAT wake-up call for your business. Or, you can just take an attitude and put down the customer for being so angry. (See also Epic Fail)
Poorly managed business fail #3: If the customer says: “I spend $75 dollars and my order was messed up,” then you try to cover your (yes YOUR) mistake with a $50 Gift Card? Your reputation is worth more than a penny-pinched Gift Card. Right? No? This type of manager just does NOT value the customer.
Poorly managed business fail #4: Continue to email your customer instead of either bringing them back to your establishment or speaking to them on the phone. How lazy are you if you are graced with a customer’s personal phone number and all you want to do is talk by email??? Nobody is THAT busy.
Is this how you want your vendors to speak to you when you have a problem with your supply order? Don’t be hypocrite.
If THE Manager cares about customers, then EVERYTHING is about keeping a GOOD relationship with them. Including apologizing.
Want to build your brand? Work on your people skills.
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