Honesty – The 99 and 44/100 percent best policy

It’s the 21st century! We’re a tech savvy group, using Twitter, Facebook, blogs, emails, to keep in contact with customers and clients. But one day, and it will happen, one of those tools we use won’t work. Or two tools, or three, and so on. It’s going to happen and then it’ll happen again. What do you tell your customers? The truth?

It’s my experience that honesty is almost always the best policy.

There are going to be times when you’re at work, but aren’t able to work. The situation will dictate how honest to be with your customer. It really breaks down into two things, situations beyond your control and situations you can control.

So, back to my first example: tools aren’t working. This is an instant where it’s okay to politely tell your customer there are system issues. They know it’ll happen, it’s happened to them, they’ll empathize. If it’s an internal customer, odds are they are having the same issues.

That does not give anyone an excuse to drop the ball. A notepad and a pen is all that’s needed to keep a list of issues to look up when things are working. Tell the customer you’ve written down whatever the issue is, read it back, and then, when tools are working, clear that list. Follow up on each item written down. Then follow up with each customer, give them an update or resolution.

So, situations you can control. The most important thing you bring to work everyday: your attitude. Personal issues are just that, personal. The person on the other end of that phone or email is not going to empathize that you went out on a bender the night before and are feeling it still at 1 PM. You and your significant other are having a fight, your kid is acting up in school, yes it’s happened to everyone. Doesn’t mean you should let it affect how you handle business. Your customers didn’t call or email to hear about the drama of the day.

Personal issues should be left in the car when you get to work. It’s WORK, so yes, it takes more effort some days than others to work with a smile and give great service. That’s part of being a professional.

That professionalism needs to carry you throughout the work day, and shouldn’t stop once you leave your desk, call center floor, front of the house, front desk, where ever it is you interact with customers.  Just because the person you just got off the phone with acted as if they should get preferential treatment doesn’t mean next break you should belittle that customer to co-workers. And, just because another co-worker engages in that kind of behavior doesn’t mean everyone else gets too. There are ways to handle that sort of stressor, and we’ll get into those later.

So, is honesty the best policy? A majority of the time, yes.Your customers are not dumb people, give them some respect and treat them you want to be treated. Do that, and you’ll give the very best customer service!


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