When you work in a customer service related field, you hear the old adage “the customer is always right” on a regular basis. Unfortunately, you know that the customer is not always right. The idea came about because shop owners wanted to keep customers happy and keep those customers from moving to another store. In the old days, customers only had the option of one general store in town. With the rise of multipurpose stores like Walmart, customers now know that if they have a bad experience in one store they can walk down the street to another.
The only way that a company came remain successful is by gaining repeat customers. If a customer has a satisfying experience, then he will keep shopping at that store. If the customer feels threatened or has a negative experience, then he will find another store. No matter where you work, you are bound to come across a customer that is not happy for any number of reasons. The customer might complain about clothing not folded correctly, the items he wanted to purchase are out of stock or even because he had a bad experience with another customer in the store.
Dealing with an unhappy customer is an unpleasant experience. Even if you want to scream or shout, you must stay calm and keep a smile on your face. You can usually tell how a person feels from the moment you see his face. Before the customer descends on you, take a deep breath and try to stay calm. No matter what the person says or does, retain your smile. Many customers will provoke you in the hopes of making you as upset as they are.
Ask the customer to fully describe the problem that he experienced and ask what he would like you to do about the situation. Depending on where you work, you might have the right to give him a free meal or a discount on his next shopping experience. If you cannot do anything to help, then suggest that your customer speak to a manager or supervisor. Sometimes, the only thing he wants is the chance to vent to someone else about the situation. By the time he finishes telling you the story, he already feels better about the situation and will leave without any further problems.
Some people make the mistake of thinking that because they work in an office or a non-customer service related job that they never have to deal with unpleasant customers. The truth is that anytime you work with other people, you risk dealing with an unpleasant situation. Customers might call you over the phone to complain or make a special trip to the office to lodge a formal complaint in person. You must deal with unhappy customers when you work in any sales job, including office jobs, retail jobs and restaurant jobs. As long as someone buys anything from you or your employer, including services, you risk finding yourself in a position with unhappy and even angry people.
How to Solve a Variety of Problems at Work
Dealing with unpleasant customers is not the only problem you may solve at work. When looking for a job, a person may visit several offices to drop off a professional-looking resume. The person will likely find that each office has its own atmosphere and tone. Some offices appear to run efficiently while others seem disorganized. Even if the individual ends up working at an office that seems to be friendly and efficient, he or she will likely encounter a few problems. Fortunately, there are many ways to solve the variety of problems that occur in a workplace.
Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.
Robert H. Schuller
One of the most common problems in a workplace is a disagreement between coworkers. The disagreement may be a simple misunderstanding or a bigger deal. Either way, it takes a long time to find a suitable job even with an appealing resume, therefore a worker who is new to the office understandably wants to settle the problem. Talking to the coworker face-to-face is the best way to go about settling some problems. For instance, perhaps a new worker in the office mistakenly took another employee’s soda from the refrigerator in the break room. The new person had no idea that it belonged to someone. The best way for the new worker to solve the problem is to buy the person a new soda, give it to him or her, and apologize. The worker with more seniority will likely appreciate the soda and the apology. Naturally, with more complicated disputes it’s sometimes wise to get human resources involved.
Many office managers encounter the problem of keeping the office break room clean. Some employees are diligent about washing their coffee cups and throwing away their trash while others are laxer. A manager can solve this problem fairly simply. He or she can put up a notice stating that everyone needs to clean up his or her own mess before leaving the break room. If some employees ignore the sign, the manager can call a meeting to announce that the employees will share clean-up duties in the break room. A manager can make a list and assign employees to different days when they are in charge of checking the cleanliness of the break room before quitting time.
Another common problem in the workplace is an uncooperative team of workers. Employees are hesitating to work together on projects and are not friendly toward one another. Incidentally, if an employee is that unhappy with coworkers he or she should prepare a succinct, professional resume and begin submitting it at other companies. A manager can improve the cooperation between employees by arranging outside activities, so they can get to know one another. Picnics, softball games, a night of bowling or regular meetings at a cozy restaurant are all ideas that may help a group of employees become more friendly.
Regardless of a person’s title at work, there are ways to solve many problems that come up. Today, people are anxious to maintain their employment, so they will likely be reasonable when it comes to solving problems in the workplace.