Attitude of Indifference – Service Recovery Tips

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A couple of years ago, I wanted to see a play in New York City.  Now, before I go any further, know this about me.  I’m not one of these people who have difficulty making a decision, and this situation was no different.  I knew which play I wanted to see, and knew the date and time of the show, as well.  I even knew where I wanted to sit.   However, when I called at 5:50pm on a Saturday night and selected my menu prompts, I was transferred to someone who clearly wasn’t as excited about my impending trip as I.  The individual spoke in a monotone voice, didn’t acknowledge or confirm the information, and left a lot of silence in between my answers and his next question.  So much silence, in fact, that I found myself repeatedly asking him if he was still there.  After what seemed to be an interminable amount of time, everything was finally settled.  I was going to see my play!  As I was about to give my credit card information though, the line suddenly went dead.  Augh!  Thinking there was a technical problem, I called back, and heard a recording thanking me for the call, and telling me their hours were 9am – 6pm.  They were closed!  No wonder why the individual who was taking my order seemed to drag his feet.  He was simply waiting to go home for the night and wanted my call to be his last!  

Unfortunately, my experience is not an unusual situation.  In fact, when asked why clients have stopped doing business with a company, according to the American Society of Quality, the most frequent reason given by 68% of clients is because of an attitude of indifference by a company employee.   Think about that.  The reason most clients stop doing business with a company is not because of the product or service, price or because they moved away.  It is because of an attitude of indifference! 

There are many things that can be done to improve your clients’ experience, and avoid this attitude of indifference.  Here are a few tips: 

  • Display a desire of wanting to help your clients by using language that shows you want to and can help.
  • Empathize with those clients who are calling with a problem, but also share the excitement of those clients who let you know about something good that’s happened to them. 
  • Remember your client is the reason you are there.  Don’t treat them as if they’re an interruption to your day. 
  • Focus on your client.  In this day and age we tend to multi-task.  Doing that can give the impression you don’t really care about your client, however.  Maintain eye contact with your client and do not look around.  And definitely do not look down.  Even if you’re on the phone, give the client your undivided attention.  
  • Smile.  It will make your client feel as if you’re more approachable.  It will make you feel better too.  Even if you’re on the phone, your positive attitude will shine through when you smile. 

When you think about all the time and money that is spent on the product or service, the aesthetics, pricing and marketing … it’s sort of funny that at the end of the day, it frequently comes down to an attitude of indifference by a company employee.  What time and effort is going into ensuring your clients do not experience this attitude of indifference at your company?  

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