How NOT to treat customers 101

I was over at Hacking Netflix this morning and responded to a post that was written about bad customer service at Blockbuster. Bad customer service at Blockbuster? Tell me it ain’t so!! Anyway, the comment I left dragged on and on and when it got to the third paragraph I decided that it was a bit rude to type a comment like that but I posted it anyway and quickly left 🙂

Basically the article was pointing to a news story about a Blockbuster manager that cursed at a customer. Hey, it’s happened and sometimes it’s easy to get carried away but if you let customers push your buttons like that then you are not a good manager and probably don’t need to be in customer service at all. Think I’m fullashit? I run three 24 hour restaurants and have been in customer service for almost 21 years now. You JUST DON’T ACT LIKE THAT AS A MANAGER. If you curse at or shout at your customers you are a fuckwit, plain and simple. That’s why I blog. This is a place where I can let off a bit of steam. Yeah, some of my customers and employees may know I’m here. I blog under my real name and have been doing it for a couple of days now, so it’s not that difficult to find me but it’s a bit different blowing off steam after the fact than verbally attacking someone, whether it be an employee or a customer.

I’m not a morning person at all. It’s kind of funny considering how long I’ve been getting up at 4:30 every morning but I am still not a morning person. The reason I get up so early is because it takes me forever to get my shit together and be able to deal with the public successfully. I am fully aware of that fact and that’s why I have my morning routine. Last week I walked in to one of my stores around 6:30 AM, checked the bathrooms to make sure they were clean and walked back out into the customer area. Immediately a gentlemen walked up to me and asked if I was one of the district managers. I am and told him so at which point he started griping and bitching about the price he had been charged for his food and about how it’s different no matter which restaurant he goes in to. I tried to pin him down on how much he had been charged or what he had eaten but he didn’t want to hear any of it. I would have given him a discount or coupon but all he wanted to do was cuss about how much he had been charged for breakfast (around $4) and walked out. I don’t deal with that too well first thing in the morning but the important thing is that I was polite to the guy even though he was a flaming asshole.

I did check the ticket and he had been charged correctly so there wasn’t a whole hell of a lot I could do about it anyway but that is a common complaint where I work. Too many of the waitresses don’t know there prices and they are too damn stupid to look at their price sheet, preferring to pull prices out the thin air. Since I picked up the stores four months ago I have made a bit of headway with that but it’s a pretty time consuming process.

The main thing to me is that if you are in customer service or management you can never lose your temper and have to always keep a smile even when they are dead wrong. There has been more than one occasion where I smiled and said please all the way to the point where the police dragged their sorry ass out of my restaurant (customers AND employees). That’s what 911 is for. I don’t get paid to play bouncer. It’s also one of the reasons that I always have people wanting to work for me, including several that I have fired on more than one occasion.

This has also been posted at Miles Business Blog.

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