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Stop Committing the Cardinal Sin of Customer Service

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

Have you ever caught yourself complaining about your customers in front of your people?

If you are the owner or the manager, or you are in a leadership position, it's a huge NO-NO!

Bad-mouthing a customer in front of your staff can put your company in jeopardy.

No matter how demanding or impolite a customer can be, we should NEVER complain about them.

Here are three things you must put in mind for you not to commit this cardinal sin of customer service:

1. Set the right culture.

It has nothing to do with the customers, but what you do with the culture of your company.

It's about the practices of your company on how you deal with demanding or rude customers.

How you manage this kind of situation sets the tone for your whole team. How they roll their eyes because you roll your eyes.

You and I must remember the long term effects of the different attitudes, the gestures, or the words that come out of our mouth. It's because everybody is watching.

As they are watching you, your people will do what you tolerate. Just like parenting, they will do what you do, not what you tell them to do.

2. Kill people with kindness.

I had a customer on the phone for thirty minutes. She meticulously gave directions for every single dish she ordered. She said she has a lot of allergies. She wanted two cloves of garlic and half of lemon on the side of her pasta meal, etc.

I had to handle that customer well not because of the customer, but because our people were watching me.

I often tell our servers, especially when they tell me that a customer is yelling at them to reciprocate it with kindness.

So if I tell them to do that, then I need to demonstrate how to kill people with kindness.

3. Shift the culture of your company.

View your demanding customers as an opportunity to change the culture of your company. You can be firm and friendly at the same time.

You can be courteous and apologetic. But still not get bulldozed and bullied because we always have some of those customers -and that is not what I'm telling you.

Decide that from now on, no matter how demanding a customer you get, you will never complain about it in front of your people.

How do I know? Because I've been there, done that. Got the t-shirt, I've found out how it affected the culture of our restaurant.

I heard how our staff were being rude to our customers, and later on, realized that I was the one to blame for that.

I set that tone for the rest of the team, so I had to change it. Since then, it has been incredibly beneficial to our company.


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