“It’s not my job.” “They’re not in my section.” “I don’t know.” “They’re not going to buy anything.” – Ever hear one of these excuses from your staff or from a business you’re trying to work with? It should never be about what you can’t do, but rather what you can do.
Customer Service Carpe Diem! – Take every opportunity, every day, to make your customers and potential customers happy.
If it worked for Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society, it can work for your business. It could be something small – A coffee shop owner smiling at a student doing homework, a mechanic suggesting a fuel efficiency tip or a theatre manager mentioning a movie coming soon. These aren’t hard. These aren’t bits of knowledge you don’t have or effort you can’t make. It’s amazing how much these little touches mean to customers and help to build personal relationships between your business and them. Customers return to businesses they care about so you should take any chance to care about them first.
I recently sat in a pub…where I sat…and sat some more. Not one waitress or bartender came by to say hello, take my order or to inform me that my server wasn’t on shift yet. Did they see me? Of course they did. I made eye contact with 3 separate staff members but not one acknowledged my existence. Thankfully I don’t rely on bar staff for my self esteem. Any one of them could have taken a drink order, dropped off menus, or asked if I needed anything. Hell, any one of them could have smiled. Opportunity, wasted.
Now as to those statements I led with…
- It’s not my job – Either find someone who’s job it is or help as best you can. You’re reflecting the entire company and this attitude is another way of saying “your company can’t be bothered.” A customer doesn’t care if it’s your job or not, they just want help
- They’re not in my section. – You all work for the same company. Engaging here may leave such a great impression that they ask for you next time.
- I don’t know. – You’re not expected to know everything, but you are expected to go find out. It’ll make you more knowledgeable and it’ll make the customer know you care.
- They’re not going to buy anything. – Sure, they might not…this time. But a great impression will either put you to the top of the list of places to buy from or inspire them to tell everyone they know to visit your business.
If you want to be a successful business, large or small, it’s important to look for any moment you can find to engage. I’m not suggesting you smother them with kindness (we have moms for that) but rather add value to the experience. Little extra effort, big impact. Your cash register will thank you for it.