Let Me Tell You How To Do This, Managing The Customer Experience

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Let Me Tell You How To Do This, Managing The Customer Experience

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Happy customer rock. 85% will leave because of bad service and never come back. Can you afford to lose them?

It seems like every day new customer frustrations arise; I swear I never hear about the amazing customer service stories anymore. Frankly, I don’t think there are that many in the naked city.

A friend was telling me about her experience with ordering new glasses. The place: a national chain. The customer: a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is personality, but very nice.

In the course of the transaction, the salesperson owed her 10 cents change. The salesperson remarked to my friend that she didn’t have the right change – in other words, no 10 cents. The frustrated salesperson didn’t seem to have anything else to say, so my friend decided to jump in and help her out.

“So,” she asked, “what do we do about my 10 cents?” This seemed like a logical customer question.

The salesperson replied, “I really don’t know what to do.”

Thinking it might be helpful to offer another scenario to the salesperson, my friend asked, “If the difference was 50 dollars what would you do?”

Her thought process: Maybe the numbers were too small. Why didn’t the salesperson just offer to give her the 25 cents back? This seemed to be even more upsetting, so the salesperson said she was calling the manager.

Now my friend was starting to feel uncomfortable. Why couldn’t she just have her quarter back and then start over? The salesperson told the manager she was upset and didn’t know how to fix the problem.

The manager replied, “I have a headache, so why don’t you give the customer the quarter back, and let’s be done with this?” The salesperson again told the manager how upset she was. The manager replied that, if she was that upset, she should go home.

At this point, my friend had had enough, so she decided to add her two cents. “It’s not the 10 cents or the quarter, why do we have to go through this for me to get my change? All she had to do was give me the quarter back and you would have been 15 cents short.” This met with a look of distain from both the salesperson and the manager, and my friend was really feeling like the bad guy and maybe even a little nuts.

She continued explaining to me: “All I was trying to do was to show the salesperson that it wasn’t that difficult; she just needed to think. I was beginning to realize that I was probably not welcome in the store, and I was beginning to look like a crazy customer—all over 10 cents! Again I tried to explain, it’s not the 10 cents it’s the principle. Damn, I didn’t need the change anyway. It was best I got out of there before I caught a headache.”

The big customer question: Why didn’t the salesperson know what to do? Couldn’t she have looked for a dime in her purse? Hadn’t that happened before?

Shouldn’t a store train their salespeople on common problems, i.e. making change?

 

I know you probably think this is a made up story, but why make up stories when the real ones are so great?

 

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses managing the customer’s experience for over 20 years. To have her work with your employees or speak at your business she can be reached through her email, Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com or 518-495-5380, EST.

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About the Author:

Lisbeth Calandrino is an award winning trainer, entrepreneur, and blogger and has spent over twenty years developing custom tailored marketing and customer service programs for businesses.
Her recently published book, Red Hot Customer Service, 35 Sizzling Ways to Heat up Your Business and Ignite Your Sales defines the steps necessary to build a competitive advantage and turn great companies into unforgettable or red hot companies. Lisbeth admits that much of her knowledge came from her Italian grandfather who despite very little formal education and a limited English vocabulary, managed to became both successful and wealthy. Lisbeth has wonderful stories about Grandpa DiBiagio’s and her time spent learning how to managing Grandpa’s fruit stand.
Because of Lisbeth’s experience as a business owner, having been the managing partner and owner of 7 furniture and carpet stores for 14 years, she is able to bring her extensive business knowledge and experience to all of her clients. Lisbeth’s awards include executive of the year award from the International Executive Association, Albany chapter (a business networking group) and first place honors in an international marketing contest for alternative medicine.
A two time cancer survivor, she has spoken extensively about her experiences of cancer, offering words of comfort and inspiration. As an activist, Lisbeth has initiated and contributed to many charitable causes. She has worked with at-risk youth, spoken out against injustice and advocated to and helped to build resources for women.
As a presenter, Lisbeth Calandrino is highly motivational, information-rich, and very entertaining. Her acute business sense, contagious enthusiasm, positive energy and fun sense of humor make her a dynamic presenter.
Lisbeth is a member of New York, Historic Albany Foundation, educational director of Business Referrals Networking Group and member of the board of directors of the Animal Protective Foundation of Scotia, New York.

One Comment

  1. Michelle April 2, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Liz,
    I run into this all the time with our cash drawer. Not enough change to give the customer. I always short my drawer and make the customer happy. It’s funny I say oh no I don’t have the correct change so some of my customers say oh just keep the change. I always give them back their dollar or five dollars and say the discount is on me! They are so happy by the small gesture. My employees know to do the same and just leave me a nice note not enough change in the drawer. I feel people don’t empower themselves enough and we want our employees to take ownership for their jobs. what an awesome compliment to an owner or manager when your employees can think outside the box and do what is best for the customer.

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