Customer Service Lesson: Manage Initial Impressions


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Recently I went to the movie theatre with my kids. We were there for the early afternoon show – so were a few other customers. While waiting to buy our tickets we watched the two employees behind the counter completely ignore us. One of them even picked up her cell phone to make a personal call. We were just standing there looking at them. They were completely ignoring us. When I asked to buy a ticket, one of them said they weren’t open for another four minutes, and they went back to ignoring us. I asked her if they weren’t open, how come the doors were unlocked. She said she didn’t know and continued to ignore us. The other customers became annoyed with her and left.

The employees were in uniform and in front of their paying customers. They may not have been officially “on the clock,” but were still representing the theatre. The least they could have done was tell us they would be with us in just a few minutes. What kind of an impression do you think they were making for the theatre?

This is like being cut off by a truck and recognizing the company name that they painted on its side. You are not only mad at the driver, but now you are mad at the company!

The lesson here goes to the fundamentals of service. The employees of the movie theatre mentioned above blew a basic concept. (By the way, I don’t just blame them. I also blame the management. This is a function of basic training and common sense.)

Any contact that a customer has in any way, or with any member, of a company is an opportunity to create an impression. Everyone working with any company organization must recognize this!

Here is another way of putting it: Whenever you are in front of your customer for any reason, you are “on stage.” Make it a great performance!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a customer service speaker and expert, Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is a hall of fame speaker (National Speakers Association) and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.


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