You said it. Now do it!

13 03 2009

glasses

I must be getting older because I went to the eye doctor earlier this month and was told I would be needing glasses.  Something about an irregular astigmatism in one eye.  I was ok with it.  I’ve always thought glasses were cool (braces too – I was disappointed to be born with good teeth when all my middle school friends started getting braces).  I know this seems like it doesn’t have anything to do with my title, but trust me, I’m getting there.

So, excited about getting my first pair of glasses, I went to LensCrafters to pick out my frames (which are really great by the way).  This is where things start going wrong.  The man who helped me told me that they would have to send away for my lenses because they didn’t have them in stock.  It took more than three weeks for me to finally get my glasses.  Over the course of that time I was told several things that no one delivered on.  When I did get my glasses (the second time) they fit correctly and the lenses were precisely as prescribed.  Unfortunately, this was not enough for me to forget the poor customer service and unfulfilled promises.

As I’ve gone through my college career, in class and in my current job, I strive to follow this piece of advice.  It’s important to try and go above and beyond for clients, customers, even friends and family, but it’s also important to do so with the knowledge that it can and will be done.  As always, there will be exceptions.  But, I feel those situations can be handled with professionalism and consideration.  I’ve been in that place before; here are some of things I’ve tried.

1.        Some people will be upset.  Be genuine and apologetic.

2.       Saying “sorry” isn’t always going to be enough.  Have an idea of what you CAN do to make things better.

3.       Know your role.  It’s important to know the limitations as well as the power of your position.  Knowing that can keep you from making promises you can’t fulfill.

4.       If people yell, don’t yell back.  In most cases, there’s a supervisor or colleague you can turn to for support. Don’t let people trample you, but ALWAYS be polite.

5.       Don’t be defensive.  Own up to any mistakes you’ve made.  Taking responsibility for your actions shows maturity and professionalism and may ease the situation.

I’ve worked in customer service since I started working in high school.  I understand that there are things out of the control of the salesperson but I am a firm believer that if someone says they’re going to do something, they need to do it.  And someone should never say they will do something they can’t do.

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