It certainly isn't fun having service problems. But identifying them at the beginning of a service seminar, and then helping participants solve them at the end is one of the most rewarding elements of my speaking career.
Why are problems so big? Why do they get bigger?
Problem + time = negative experience for not only the customer, but for the person whose job is to serve the customer.
Some problems are out of your hands. In fact, many problems relate to things someone else did, or did not, do. And therein lies the first rub: Handling things that could have been avoided. Not doing things the right way in the first place means more time, less efficiency. No one has enough time today, so misusing a customer's time with an avoidable problem? Well, that rubs the wrong way.
The second rub is when the customer is simply not being very nice, and you have to be nice to provide great service. "Demanding customers" was the first problem the audience identified this week. Demanding people simply annoy us. They seem a bit petulant, childish, and sometimes, a bit spoiled. It's so much easier to deal with people who are nice to us. Annoying behavior quickly rubs the wrong way.
And the third rub? The arrogance of entitlement. You know, the behavior that implies bowing would be a nice way to show you honor me. At least here in the Midwest, the land of common sense, most people would agree: that dog don't hunt. Feeling special is great. Feeling entitled rubs the wrong way.
Patience is one answer. More on the next blog.
Dee Dee has helped create and coach "customer care" programs and cultures for healthcare, government, travel, financial services, plumbing, retail, publishing, automotive and entire communities.