The following excerpt, from the article 5 steps to becoming "unflusterable," was written by Michael Hess, founder and CEO of Skooba Design. and published on CBSnews.com. Hess writes about his experience at a mid-level business hotel that went out of their way to correct every issue he faced throughout his trip, even when they weren't the cause. Read the full article to gain Hess' insight on the experience and learn why he believes the following five steps to be indispensable to a successful business.
Being unflusterable means keeping your attitude and actions positive, without fail, no matter what comes your way. Here's how you can achieve it:
1. Never let 'em see you sweat. A really hard-to-please customer can test even the best service professional, but it's a test you can and should pass with flying colors. Keep a genuine smile on your face (a fake one is worse than none at all), listen more than you talk, and never stop visualizing and telegraphing a happy conclusion.
2. Own it. Whatever "it" is -- a real problem, a special request, or even a seemingly unfounded gripe. The what, why, who and when (especially the latter -- the past is the past) are far less important than what you do next. So don't look for another person or place to dump the issue -- grab it and run with it. If you need help or authorization, get it, but don't relinquish ownership of the issue.
3. Take your opinions and emotions out of the equation. Too many employees take business personally, and while there are times when a customer has a problem with a specific employee, more often she is just shooting the messenger. It's not about you -- take the bullet.
4. Let your default answer be "yes" (or "certainly," "absolutely," or any variation thereof). If there isn't a really good reason to say no, don't look for one. I'm not saying you should be a doormat or give someone $20 to break a five-dollar bill, I'm just saying that it's always best to look for ways to say yes. Saying yes to even half of what a customer asks for has a shot at making him happy; saying no is guaranteed not to.
5. Do something, fast. Minimize the amount of time you spend discussing, explaining, debating or negotiating. The sooner you get to some positive action, the less time there is for the customer to stew, grit her teeth and think of more (increasingly legitimate) reasons to be upset. Start solving before the end of the problem even leaves her lips.
What other customer service standards does your store live by? Share them with other college stores in the comments section!