When a customer contacts a business with a request or a complaint, here’s the usual response from the employee:
“Well, you need to call so-and-so…”
or, “We don’t do that here, you’ll need to…”
Then the employee hangs up the phone. If she’s working retail and is paid by the hour, she usually then goes on to complain about how boring her job is.
What if she took a lesson from companies like Ritz-Carlton and she decided to resolve the complaint or fulfill the customer’s need?
What if she got on the phone to her supervisor or called another store or vendor and solved the problem? What if the customer was overjoyed and surprised to find out her needs had been exceeded?
How do you think you would feel if you were that employee? Would you feel happy? Would your day have flown by instead of dragged on and on?
Years ago, when I managed a jewelry store, I had a bookkeeper who filled in on the sales floor when needed. A man walked in and wanted to buy a Rolex watch from us. But we didn’t carry Rolexes in our store. Many employees would have responded, “Well, we don’t carry those.”
But Sue asked around and found out that some of our stores back East did carry Rolexes. She found the model the customer wanted and had it shipped to us. The customer came back and paid several thousand dollars for the watch, and Sue made $175 in commission back when she was probably getting paid $4.50 an hour. She was also ecstatic that she had met the customer’s need and found what he wanted. She was proud of herself and she had every right to be.
Not everyone will make a commission like that. But, when employees shift their paradigms and decide to serve the customer instead of thinking “It’s not my job,” legendary customer service occurs.
The customer is pleased and the employee usually finds out that, while it took extra effort, the payback was worth it in terms of fulfillment and perhaps even recognition from her supervisor. Or, as in Sue’s case, a nice-sized commission.
When you “own the complaint” even when you don’t need to, you are opening the door to making your job more fulfilling. Resolving complaints or answering questions when you don’t “need” to, also builds your confidence and makes the day go faster. Plus, you might find yourself getting promoted sooner than you expect.