Stop complaining


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The other day I went to a store where they allow you to swipe your own credit or debit card. Although I ran my card through the machine a number of times, the card-reader was not collecting my data, so the employee finally took it & processed it for me at his register. No big deal. What he said, however, is what I found most interesting. “That card-reader has been broken for weeks. I keep complaining about it, but they don’t do anything about it.”

I acknowledged his comment but found myself wondering about it afterward. It made me wonder what else was not right with the store? It also reminded me of another time when I overheard two employees converse at my 24-hour grocery store. One was complaining to the other about the lighting in the back. “But I guess it’s ok”, he said, “because otherwise we would see the dirt.” Now, doesn’t that make you feel good about the place you purchase your food?

As employees, we need to remember that we are ambassadors for the company we work. We represent our firm to clients, shareholders and potential clients every day, and even our casual comments may impact others’ perception of our firm.

Follow these simple customer service best-practices:

Never speak negatively about your company. Even if you do not intend a client to overhear, you never know what information may be passed on to others. Complaining to me that management was not responsive didn’t help get the card-reader fixed. It did make me wonder why the employee didn’t simply work at the adjacent cash register, however, and also made me wonder how many customers were going to hear about the manager’s apathy that day.

Speak highly of your firm. It’s not enough not to say anything negative. Help clients feel good about doing business with you and your firm, by speaking well of your company. I once went to a restaurant, hadn’t been there before, and was greeted by the receptionist who told me I’d love it there. ‘The food is great!’ Wow.

Be part of the solution. If customers complain to you, don’t simply commiserate. Fix the problem yourself, or pass the information along to the correct party so the problem gets fixed. Escalate the issue if necessary. Realize clients who let you know of an issue are giving you an opportunity to deliver great service.

Challenge yourself to be an ambassador for your firm, and be part of the solution. You and your company will reap the results.


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