I was running a training workshop the other week for a client who wanted to focus on improving customer service skills.
Now, customer service is quite a tricky subject because most people will believe that they are the ones delivering good customer service and that it is everyone else who needs to have the training!
It’s also difficult not to say the words ‘customer service’ without people assuming you are going to try and teach them to say ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘have a nice day’!
There is of course so much more to great customer service than that, and one of the things I like to discuss with groups is ‘is it OK to have a bad day’? This stems from a comment a delegate once made on a customer service course which went something like this:
‘Well, no-body is perfect. Everyone has a bad day every now and again. Customers have to realize we are no different’.
That made me think. Lots. In my training business I may have the occasional bad day behind the scenes (you know those sort of days..technology issues, unexpected demands, problems arising…), but I would never share my bad day with my delegates or clients! And I would do my utmost to ensure that the service I provide is never affected by whatever kind of ‘bad day’ that I may have had. Can you imagine me rolling up to a training course with a frown on my face, a big sigh, barely able to look at the participants who are seated round the table waiting for the training to begin. Let me tell you…in my world this just couldn’t happen! There are no bad days when I am out delivering training. This is part of the professionalism that clients pay for.
So why then would it be OK for anyone in a customer-facing role to think that it is OK to have a bad day in front of a customer?
We know that a small proportion of customers can be frustrating, rude, unreasonable, demanding… Yet these people pay our wages.
What I am saying is that for me in my business, whenever I am customer facing I could never drag them into my ‘bad day’. I am a professional, committed and proud. Allowing the service I deliver to be affected by my ‘bad day’ would, to me, be unprofessional, uncommitted and would indicate that I didn’t care about my own business or my customers.
What do you think? Can you afford to have a bad day in your business?