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!