Monday, August 29, 2011

Good Customer Service At Home




Over the years, my careers have mainly been customer service based. I started in a family business and then moved on up through the rungs from waitress, to hostess, to sales associate, manager and eventually the GM of a hotel.

In all my years, my training taught me that you should always do your best to take your customer all the way to what they need, make them happy, and never leave them until they are done with you.

I pride myself on my customer service abilities.

Though the other day, I think I failed at customer service in my own home!

I was getting ready to cut my daughter's hair and because of how long it had gotten (she's been growing it out for a year!) I felt this time it would be best  if instead of me spritzing it with water, she could wash and condition it real quick. She was fully clothed so I just suggested she run into the bathroom and wash her hair in the tub.

She’s fourteen. I suppose I just assumed that she knew how to kneel over the tub and do it. (Though I'm not sure where I got this idea since she’d never done it before, and the few times I have, I don’t think she’s ever watched, but somehow I just figured she’d know.)

So, I sent her off, and just as she began to walk away she turned to me with this puzzled look on her face and asked a couple of questions regarding how to do it. I answered them non-chalantly, then went about my business.

It took her a while to get it done, but she’d done it perfectly. Except, afterwards, I felt a little guilty.

I had just acted like a young clerk in a store. You know the one… where you ask where they keep the ____ and they half-heartedly point in some direction and give a vague idea of how to get there?

They fully assume that because THEY know what's kept in isle nine, you should know too.
And when you aren't sure whether you understood them correctly and turn to ask them a question, they're gone!

In good customer service, the person helping you should stay with you from start to finish and not leave you until you’re completely satisfied. (Like when the item is in your hand, all of your questions have been answered, and you are ready to check out.)
Sometimes when kids are finally able to talk, walk, feed and clothe themselves we tend to send them off to accomplish things before stopping to think whether or not they know how. You won’t hear them make a fuss about it though, because ultimately you are the parent, and if you expect them to do it alone, they assume they should know how…but remember how it felt in the store when you needed help and the sales associate ditched you? Making you feel alone and stranded?
Next time, for my own peace of mind, and maybe hers too, I will lead my girl to the ____ , show her how to _____, and ask her if she has any other questions.
Because it's the right thing to do.
Truly,
Amber


15 comments:

  1. “In good customer service, the person helping you should stay with you from start to finish and not leave you until you’re completely satisfied. “ – This incredible oath is one of the reasons why I admire employees who perform good customer service. They sincerely listen and respect their clients. They do not put them down and they do not surrender until all concerns have been resolved.

    Noreen Clay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment Noreen. You mentioned listening. I truly believe that it is the single most important thing we can do for someone else. And listening shows respect (the other word you mentioned). I appreciate you sharing. I hope that many employees and leaders alike come across your comments!

      Delete
  2. That’s the spirit! There’s always a next time for everything, I believe that you can certainly make things up with your daughter in no time. Good customer service is also about owning your little mistakes and being able to regain the trust and loyalty of your customers. :D

    Ruby Chelmsford

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do-Overs! Yes, thank you for your support! I've learned a lot by admitting my mistakes and you're right, when customers see that the establishment is able to own up to errors, it's good for business. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Delete
  3. Thanks a lot for these words. I also feel guilty for my son who always ask me questions but mostly I prefer to skip answering them because I'm busy on something. I took a course focused on customer service but I'm not good at it, I admire you for your skill and I can say it's not an easy job.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks a lot for these words. I also feel guilty for my son who always ask me questions but mostly I prefer to skip answering them because I'm busy on something. I took a course focused on customer service but I'm not good at it, I admire you for your skill and I can say it's not an easy job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your own experience. I try to encourage parents not to feel guilty. Like Ruby said in the last comment, there's always next time! Your twinge of guilt can be used to remind you that next time you'll do better. We are very busy as parents, we are not always going to be 'on' or listening 100%, but all we can do it try our best. Thank you so much for your comment and sharing how you feel.

      Delete
  5. Thanks a lot for these words. I also feel guilty for my son who always ask me questions but mostly I prefer to skip answering them because I'm busy on something. I took a course focused on customer service but I'm not good at it, I admire you for your skill and I can say it's not an easy job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THANK YOU! :) You are human. It happens. No one is perfect. I have more than once gotten that after work, slowly built up irritation if just one more person spoke, but realized, there was only a few more years they would do this and how lucky was I… irritated… lol but still lucky ;) It’s being human. Hug, take a deep breath then ask for a few minutes to fold laundry or something. Once they vent and share, they are off to do their own thing :)

      Delete
  6. Compare to others, you think more of helping others thank misleading them, and I really admire you for that. It's natural that you oftentimes make mistakes but don't feel depressed about it since it also makes you earn another learning. What matters most is your realization and how you plan to apply it next time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beverly, thank you for your compliments. I appreciate them. Mistakes are made for learning for sure! While they feel terrible while we are making them (or just afterwards) it's an opportunity to GROW! And I would hate to go through life without that ability.Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I think you are offering other parents encouragement as well because it's easy for people to get down on themselves. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. Compare to others, you think more of helping others thank misleading them, and I really admire you for that. It's natural that you oftentimes make mistakes but don't feel depressed about it since it also makes you earn another learning. What matters most is your realization and how you plan to apply it next time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. In good customer service, just like what you've said, the person helping you should stay with you from start to finish and not leave you until you’re completely satisfied. That's right. But there are times we're so fogged up with all the work we forget about that. Don't feel bad, though. I think that's just normal. Atleast, you have the guts to admit it, right? Still, a moment of realization is worth a thousand prayers. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete

Search This Blog