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Guest Blog: Do You Deserve Good Service?

This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Warwick Merry shares a customer service story about how the customer should be taken care of and of equal importance, how well the customer treats employees. – Shep Hyken  This is Rachael and Erin at the Virgin Australia Lounge in Sydney. As someone […]

This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Warwick Merry shares a customer service story about how the customer should be taken care of and of equal importance, how well the customer treats employees. Shep Hyken 

Warwick Merry Blog PostThis is Rachael and Erin at the Virgin Australia Lounge in Sydney.

As someone who does a lot of traveling, I have earned access to the lounge. Recently, when I was traveling home from Sydney to Melbourne, I asked if it would be possible to get on an earlier flight. Rachael and Erin found a flight leaving two hours earlier and were able to reserve a seat for me. Naturally, when I asked, I was pleasant, cracked a few silly jokes and was even a bit playful. I figured they have a busy job – being nice was the least I could do.

They said to me, “If only all of our customers were like you.” I said how “other” customers act and their response was amazing.

  • Some customers demand (not ask for) an earlier flight. If they’re able to get the earlier flight and are allocated a middle seat, they refuse to take it and get huffy.
  • Others in this situation tell (again, tell not ask) them to move someone else out of an aisle seat so they can have it
  • Some customers will demand an upgrade to business class because they are Gold, Platinum, tired – whatever excuse they think will get one
  • Some customers grab a couple of mints out of the courtesy bowl without even making eye contact (ok so that’s not too bad)
  • Then they told me that on several occasions customers will walk past and empty the entire content of the mint bowl into their bag (and the bowl is pretty big)

While flying I have also witnessed some pretty atrocious behavior from my fellow passengers toward flight attendants. By no means is this poor behavior confined to the airline industry. Most of us have stories of very poor behaviors from people who are looking for customer service.

Do you deserve good customer service?

Personally, I do not believe the customer is always right, but they are always the customer. But do customers really think they are helping the situation by being rude and obnoxious? In many situations the person giving service is paid a fairly low amount, is fairly young (so they may not have the experience or the resilience to deal with highly emotional situations) and deals with issues all day long.

Guidelines on how to get far better customer service by acting in a way that deserves it:

  • Smile – it makes a huge difference
  • Be pleasant – sometimes you won’t get your way and it is not due to the person you are dealing with. That is no reason to not be pleasant.
  • Express dissatisfaction with a situation – NOT with a person – once you make it a personal attack, it becomes much harder to get a mutually satisfying solution. And it frequently takes much longer to resolve due to what you said.
  • Know there are more customers other than you – really, taking ALL THE MINTS is not considerate of others, it is the same with demanding the attention of the customer service person when your situation will not progress and there are others to serve.
  • Have a healthy perspective. Is it REALLY that important? If I hadn’t gotten an earlier flight, I still would have gotten home, just two hours later. Is that really worth flipping out over?
  • Ask for more, but be ok if you don’t get it – I will frequently ask for an upgrade whether I am flying or renting a car. Often I get a better car, sometimes I get an exit row, twice I have been bumped up to Business Class or Premium. I usually ask in a friendly, joking kind of way. But I feel for the person behind the counter when people “demand” an upgrade because “Don’t you know who I am?” Intimidation is not a good strategy for service.
  • Have fun. Customer service people are human too. Typically their job is repetitive, a little dull and they tune out. If you use their name (no doubt they have a name badge), have some fun with them then it makes everyone feel better and you never know how they may look after you.
  • Smile – I know I mentioned it to start with but it is too important not to mention again. So many people forget to do this. They get so swept up in their own importance, their own problems and their own thoughts that they forget to smile. If you do nothing else, smile and I am certain it will make a difference.

If you can do these things, you will be far more deserving of good customer service – and are much more likely to receive it. It is not rocket science. In many cases, it is simple courtesy and expressing your humanity. But it is forgotten far too often.

So do YOU deserve good customer service?

With a warm, witty and wonderfully entertaining style, Warwick Merry brings creative energy to events. Every presentation is an opportunity to share his enthusiasm for Getting More Success in our professional and personal lives.   A strong corporate background blended with his wide ranging talents in a broad spectrum of genres, enables Warwick to bring real value to his audience.

For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com. Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article:

How Corporate Personality Helps You Connect With Customers And The Customer Experience

 

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