*When there is a problem, the customer is rarely right. However, as a customer service professional, it is up to you to convince them that, a) they are actually wrong, but, b) they’re wrong in a perfectly understandable and acceptable manner. It is then up to you to persuade them to accept your profuse apologies for being right, and convince them to allow you to give them an extra customer satisfaction discount, to help them deal with the potential psychological strain of having been wrong.
*If you’re in a retail operation that requires you to periodically drop money in a security safe to keep a minimal amount of change in cash registers, you can expect one of the next two customers after each money drop to make a cash purchase of less than $10 with a $100 bill. You are not allowed to a) grimace and call them a vulgar name, b) tell them to take their inconsideration elsewhere, or c) tightly wad and squeeze the bill and then stuff it forcefully up their nose. A thin smile, quiet sigh, and a shrug, should accomplish the desired guilt effect, as you hand the customer the last bills from your cash drawer.
*If you work in a large chain of stores, and management type people from the corporate offices visit your store, always take a few moments of prep time to don metaphoric rain coat and boots, because it’s likely that on that day b-s is going to rain down on your head and collect to a level well above your ankles.
*“I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening loud enough to hear you mumble. What brand of cigarettes did you want?” is kinda unacceptable as a response to a customer. Yes, I know how satisfying it is…er, would be, but don’t.
*Although the customer thinks that they are there to make a purchase, and the company thinks you are there to help the customers make purchases and maximize company revenues, neither of those are your priority as a customer service employee. Your priorities must always be to a) mess with customers’ heads at every opportunity, and b) never allow corporate management types to figure out that you’re there to have fun and that you only incidentally accomplish what they want, while c) always remembering that a comes before b, and that management begins with an m, which isn’t even in the list.
*There is a direct correlation between how loud a customer’s voice becomes and how wrong they are in their assertions. The loud ones are easy to handle, too. You just let them vent, ask what they mean and let them vent again, and then swoop in with a solution while they’re feeling the warm glow of venting.
*It’s the ones who quietly and firmly state what is wrong without histrionics or scowls that you have to watch out for. Fail to please them and they’re guaranteed to ruin someone’s day at corporate headquarters. This, in turn, is likely to ruin one of your upcoming days.
That sort of chain reaction isn’t good for anyone. When the quiet ones complain, just ask them what they want, give it to them, and get them out quickly. Don’t worry about giving too much away, it’s always better to apologize for giving too much than it is to listen to some toady in a corporate cubical climb out of a telephone and into your ear.
*Always remember that sanity is a relative thing, to help keep you from doubting yours.