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Have procedures for the common problems.

It’s hard to get customers to hate you, but companies manage to do it.  The other day I was at Best Buy returning my computer monitor. One day while working at my computer,   I heard a “pop” and the screen went dark. The monitor  was less than a year-old, and I didn’t know if I had a warranty. I thought I would just take it back to Best Buy. I’ve bought alot of things at Best Buy and always found them to be accommodating; slow but accommodating.

Upon arriving at Best Buy and getting in the “Geeks” line, I’m asked if I have a reservation. (Table by the window?)

I reply “No” and am given a number. I’m the next one in line, so I’m not too worried. The woman  continues to ask everyone behind me the same question but instead of giving them a number, she decides to solve their problems. Now the fifteen minutes turns into thirty.

What’s annoying about this whole thing, is that she’s also the “problem solver!” Another  half-hour goes by and  she sends me to a “Geek” who is annoyed because I don’t have the cord for my monitor.

“Isn’t this  cord store I ask?” Of course, he doesn’t laugh but tells me the cord is unusual, and he will have to go look for it. Fifteen minutes later he comes back without the cord. I suggest I buy one and then return it after he looks at the monitor! Good idea right? I guess not.  Okay so one hour later they tell me I am entitled to a new monitor. Maybe we could have started there and we  could have eliminated the cord stuff.

They finally give me a new monitor; not before they take the cord out of the box!

They weren’t busy they were just inefficient.

Here’s my list:

  1. Don’t ask the customer about their problems. Just assume you know everything and don’t include them in the conversation.
  2. Don’t smile; smiling might make you friendly, and we don’t want any of that.
  3. Share your problems with the customer. I could have cared less about his cord problem. Remember, they are the “cord store” and the “Geeks.”
  4. Don’t make eye contact with the customer. Again, why would you want to be friendly? You might lose if the customer thinks you like them.
  5. Don’t have procedures for your common problems. In this case, a simple “when did you buy this” would have eliminated the cord nonsense.

Common problems are ones that occur frequently.  You can make everyone happier, including yourself if you have the answers to them.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been doing sales training and helping businesses build loyal customers for over 20 years. To have her speak at your business, give her a call at 518-495-5380.

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