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We all know the old saying “what comes out of the mouth of babes”. What about what comes out of the mouth of some adults? With the exception of companies like Disney, Nordstrom, and the Ritz Carlton I think nowadays many of us are surprised when we get exceptional service. In an era of amenities being taken away and extra fees being added to everything we do, good customer service goes a long way to keeping us loyal.

Do you put enough time into training? Are you monitoring what your people are saying when they are dealing with your customers? Many businesses are losing clients without really hearing why or understanding what caused the client to defect. Customer service and client retention should be carefully monitored and at the top of every business’s list.

  • “A Customer is the most important visitor on our premises.
  • They are not dependent on us – we are dependent on them.
  • They are not an outsider in our business – they are part of it.
  • We are not doing them a favor by serving them…they are doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.”

Below are 10 actual statements no customer wants to ever hear and how to really handle the situations.

Its not my job to do that.

It may not be their job but the customer does not want to hear that. First does this employee even have a job description to start with? Clear written guidelines to be accountable for are a must. What they should say even if it isn’t their job is, “it would be my pleasure let me see how I can help you”.

That’s not my department.

I’m not an expert in your store or company or privy to who works where and does what. What the team member should say is something like, “John is the expert in the electronics section let me get him he will know exactly how to help you best.”

I’m going on my break.

A good team member should be trained to know to help the customer and then go on their break or go get another colleague and personally introduce them to the customer and ensure they are going to be helped in a timely manner.

They don’t pay me enough to do this.

The old saying “you get what you pay for” is true here. I’m there to do business not hear about how you are paid and or dissatisfied in regards to the company. I would really evaluate my hiring process and identify how this one slipped in and also really look at my training program before I put them into contact with any customer.

Your wait time on hold will be 20 minutes.

Waiting on the phone just 3 minutes feels like 15. Imagine now some companies are asking customers to pay a fee to jump ahead in a phone queue to not have a long wait on hold just to get the customer service that should come with what they are paying for already! Hire more people, or have an automated call back service to honor your customer’s time.

We don’t have anymore of that.

If something is out stock check another store or let the customer know when it will be available and tell them you will call them when it is in. Better yet, have the customer prepay for the item and offer them complimentary shipping service when it arrives. If the item is truly not available anymore make sure your people can at least suggest a viable alternative.

Can you really afford this?

Don’t judge a book by its cover! We all remember Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman when she went shopping. The store associates thought she did not have any money by how she looked and wouldn’t help her. They sure lost out. Also, don’t let your staff mind your customer’s wallet! Let the customer decide on what they think is best even if your staff member thinks it’s expensive.

Can I help you?

We are naturally trained to say “no” when we are asked questions like: “Do you need any help today?” Avoid “yes” or “no” questions. Instead say, “how are you doing today?” Notice that we used an open ended question and not a “yes” or “no” question.

Do you even know anything about this product?

Even if the customer is wrong for gosh sake don’t tell them! Try a statement like, ” I have some information that may help you, can I share it?”

It’s my first day, I don’t know.

Everyone has a first day but letting the customer know that may erode their confidence in the team member or your company. Make sure you have your team member tested out on the training and have a mentor at hand to work with them and oversee them when starting out. A company culture of sink or swim with no support really doesn’t work.

Dialogues and training are there to ensure that the customer is heard and respected. After all, everyone wants to feel like your most important customer when they walk in your front door.

Yours in Success,

Bryan Durocher

Essentials Spa Consulting LLC

Durocher Enterprises Inc.

Phone: 406-863-9448


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