Thursday, February 17, 2011

Patience Grasshopper

My customer service skills are getting a right hammering this week. My office assistant has taken a few days of annual leave (she was away yesterday & today when she would normally take the bulk of the phone calls) & I am struggling.

The customer is always right? Pigs Bum. Why are people so impatient these days. & why are they down right rude when you are unable to give them the answer they want.

I'll give you a scenario:

Customer calls up wanting to move their water meter. They just don't like where it is positioned in their garden. I explain that there is a 2 week wait for something like that & that we can only give an estimate over the phone, if they want a fixed price we need to site inspect which we charge for, but deduct from the quoted price if they go ahead with job. The charge is nominal, but it stops people who are only interested in the cheapest job possible from wasting our time. Yes, some people will get 5 or 10 quotes for a $200 or $300 job.

Firstly said client tells me that it's not fair that we charge to come & quote. NOWHERE in any of our advertisements do we advertise free quotes. Next she tells me that its not good enough waiting 2 weeks for us to come & have a look. I explain that due to all the bad weather we've been having there are a lot of people with urgent emergency work that are in the queue before her & unfortunately she will have to wait.

She then attempts as further hissy fit at me. Unfortunately I lost my temper somewhat & said to her "this is the charge, this is the waiting time & nothing you say to me is going to change either of those things, so take it or leave it". I guess I could have left off the take it or leave it & said "so would you like to make a booking?"

When you go to shopping & think the price of something is a bit expensive do you have a go at the sales assistant?

When someone is out of stock of something do you bitch & moan about it to the sales assistant??

Give me a break people. I'm trying to deal with floods. While YOUR job is the most important thing in the world to YOU, please give consideration to people who might really have something more urgent that needs doing. There are only so many hours in a day & we are doing our best to get to every one.

Maybe I need to put this on our work website!!! LOL

OK rant over.

So. how do you deal with the cranky general public? Or are you a cranky member of the general public? Tell me, I recon I can cop a bit more of a pounding!


Anonymous said...

pfft.... for me every employee in the company is a customer, they all at some stage need to come to me for something, luckily i have two great girls who filter most of the crap for me but occasionally one gets through or its coming down from a VP level.

The world is going to end if any of the following thinge happen

Flickering light
blocked toilet
no milk
coffee machine in broken
malfunctioning security pass
air conditioning hot or cold
colour of the walls
size of the desk
size of the office
distance from desk to kitchen
no good food to have lunch outside
cant open a window
something smells
someone smells
no cute guys
no cute girls
not enough single people
beer fridge is locked
latest phone has been released, i want one
the lift isnt fast enough
i want more art work on the walls
the TV in the reception only has news on it not sport

and my favorite, why cant i install a sky light

AlleyCat said...

LOL did you just tell me to suck it up princess :0) ???

blocked dunny i get.

the dude who wants the skylight also cant open the window & doesn't like the colour of their walls right???

I recon my customers would be more reasonable if they had to deal in person rather than over the phone. Do yours put that all in writing or do they moan to you in person???

BTW can you open the beer fridge for me :0)

Anonymous said...

yep, suck it up until your shit filter gets back in the office.

the sky light was requested by a lady on the 8th floor of a 14 floor building, took all my patience to explain why it can happen.

i get it both ways, email c/c to everyone complaining about something and everyone gets on the band wagon or the come around and lean on my workstation to have a wine...

on the up side our marketing team just drooped 2 half bottles of red wine on my desk left over from a tasting... they didnt want it to go to waste and knew i'd drink it.... mmm wine out of a coffee cup... things have to get better than this

AlleyCat said...

Nothing wrong with wine out of a coffee cup!!!

ok. i'm suckin' it up.

8th floor. fuck. bright one that one. did you get her a brighter light globe???

Anonymous said...

no, the evil prick i am i dropped the temp of the a/c in her area and installed flickering light and decaf coffee.

AlleyCat said...

:0) oooooohhhh you are good!