Funny Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen presents...

Linda's Positively Speaking Blog

Rants & Raves by Funny Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen

Nov
2019

The WORST Customer Service Comment In the History of the World!

By Linda Larsen - Tuesday, November 05, 2019
Featured Image

I felt like I was the lead actor in a surreal reality television show. A show about the real-life, almost unbelievable customer service experiences of a motivational speaker who just happens to talk about how to provide exceptional customer service.  Grab your popcorn.

When I walked into the Zoom Tan salon, he was standing behind the counter texting on his cell phone. He was wearing a shirt, completely unbuttoned in the front revealing a white scoop neck t-shirt underneath. It was the kind my Italian grandpa used to wear. I stood in front of him (for too long) and waited for him to look up. When he finally did, he said nothing. He just looked at me as if to say, "What?"

I told him my account name, which spray tan I wanted and to please include the optional "prep" spray. After entering data in his computer, he said to me, "Five dollars." 

Okay, this is the part where I couldn't help but notice that he had an accent. Why? Because I was born in the Bronx. And because he sounded like all my Italian relatives. I know that accent. I had that accent. So I figured he was either from New York or New Jersey. 

I told him that I shouldn't owe him anything because I had a credit in my account.  He looked again at his computer screen and said, "No. You don't got no money." I asked him to look again as I was certain I did have money. Once more he looked and reported, "No." Let's just call him a man of few words.  A few sharp, flat, emotionless, no-eye-contact words.

I handed him my credit card and just as he was about to enter the info he said, "No. Here it is. You got credit." I hesitated a moment expecting something like, "So sorry about that..." but - clearly that wasn't going to happen. I ask for my credit card back and off I went.

As soon as I stepped into the booth, I realize that he did NOT program the PREP option. Rather than get dressed again to go back out and tell him about his omission, I make the decision to skip the prep and get a refund on my way out.

When I got back out to the lobby area, the man was having a clearly personal conversation with a woman.  I stood right next to the two of them and waited. They continued to talk. I continued to wait. Finally, I said, "I'm so sorry to interrupt, but it sounds like you are having a personal conversation and I have a business issue to address with you."

Oh, baby. If looks could kill. He simply glared at me. I told him I didn't actually receive the prep. He said nothing. No expression. He slowly went back to his computer, clicked around for about a minute and finally said, flatly, "Yes you did."  

I replied, far more calmly than I felt, "I know I asked you for the prep, and I paid for the prep. I'm telling you that I didn't actually RECEIVE a prep."

After another round of him typing on his keyboard, he finally said, pointing to his screen, "This is April 10th. At 10:15 a.m. you got the prep with your tan. I can't give you a credit for something you got." 

All my calm, adult, professional brain cells started shriveling up at an alarmingly fast rate.

"Dude!" I exclaimed, "What is with you? From the moment I walked in you have been nothing but rude. No smile, no 'hello', 'how can I help', no 'I'm so sorry you didn't get that option. Let me fix that right now!' Nothing!"

Again, without looking directly at me, he mumbled, "That's because I'm not from Florida." 

That's when my brain flew out of my head and I knew it was probably gone for a while. I could see, hear and feel a bazillion thoughts all screaming to be let out of my mouth. They were all jockeying for first position so that when I opened my mouth - they would be in the best position to pummel this guy. I found it weird which set of words got out first:

Incredulously, I retorted, "You are not from Florida? You are not from Florida? Did you just say that? Oh God, please tell me there is a hidden video camera somewhere. I need a piece of paper. I need to write this down. You are not from Florida?"

To which he replied, "I'm from New York. We don't do 'happy-perky.'"

More of my brain cells exploded and I shot back with, "Whoa. Number one - I'm from New York. Do NOT disparage people from New York. And number two - if you don't do 'happy-perky', then get another job where it's not required. Like ditch-digger. Pretty sure that's not a job requirement for them."

And after asking him several times for his manager's name, when I finally got it, I turned on my heel and left the store.

Yes, I did follow up and speak to the district manager of all the Zoom Tans in our area and yes, she had the perfect attitude about everything. I told her my reason for sharing my experience with was that as a business owner, if I had an employee that treated my clients like that, I would want to know. I assumed she would too.  She really did seem grateful and appreciative for the information. She handled it very well. Kudos to her. Almost. (See number 4 below.)

Follow-up and take-aways

Since my job is to help people provide stellar customer service - the kind that makes people want to be your loyal customer for life and scream your praises to anyone who will listen - then I am compelled to deconstruct this experience and see what we can all take-away from it.

  1. Hire for attitude - train for skills. Your front desk, front line, face-to-face-with-customer people are reeeeeeally important. Hire people who have really great attitudes.  You can train the other stuff.
  2. Provide communication/customer service training Please oh please, do not just throw people onto the front desk or onto the phones and say, "Go!" Obviously you will give them the hard skills training like the computer and security systems. I'm talking about the soft skills like how to effectively communicate (both verbally and nonverbally) with your customers.
  3. "Happy-perky" isn't an option. It's a requirement. It doesn't have to be overblown. It just has to be present - and sincere.
  4. Make things right. When something goes wrong, seize the opportunity to take your customer from very unhappy to very happy in short order. It would have been stellar if the district manager had said something like this to me: "Mrs. Larsen, I am so sorry this happened to you. Please let me know what needs to happen in order for you to love us again." If I had been her, I would have also said, "Please know that, not only am I calling corporate and telling them they need to immediately refund your money, but I will be asking them to put ten free tanning sessions in your account. Would you like that?" Oh listen. I not only would have liked that, but my NEXT episode of this reality television-blog show would have featured how FANTASTICALLY Zoom Tan turned a pathetic situation into a stellar one. 
  5. Remember the power of social media.  So, I wonder...how many people will end up reading this post?

Thus concludes this episode of our newest reality television show (in blog format): 

"The REAL World of Customer Service -
The Stellar, The Mediocre and The Pathetic." 

 

 

 

About the Author

Linda Larsen, CSP, CPAE is a Hall of Fame Speaker, professional actress, best-selling author and serious lover of doggies. Linda speaks at conferences and meetings around the world, helping people bring the very best version of themselves to life every day! To talk to Linda about how she can contribute to the success of your next event, call 941-927-4700. Or go to Book Linda Now!



Like this blog? Share it!



Recent Posts

Archive

Categories

Tag Cloud

mans search for meaning zig ziglar best bed for bad back customer service secrets parenting Kelly Swanson motivational speaker gratitude bad drivers self talk dr. john gottman how to strengthen relationships beauty election 2016 shakespeare goal achievement criticism National Car Rental gender communication back relief reframing motivational speaker on communication aging proactive people nonverbal communication Kay Frances divorce statistics customer service joy managing stress communication skills mattress recommendation gripers bottom line improvement iPhone4S negative thinking success Dr. Phil Lenscrafters good night's sleep motivational speakers unhappy employees cell phone addiction listening skills mental illness political anxiety motivational speaker on customer service bipolar disorder personality types the business of motivational speaker happy customers airline pilots fact checking motivation flying eyebrows magic act Viktor Frankl how to become a motivational speaker communication model how to get what you want complainers achievements how to happy PhotoShop Hamilton southern accent stressful elections listening dental practice strategies how to have high self-esteem raving fans whiners humor humorous motivational speaker panic attacks depression cheerleading relationship building anxiety trust in relationships Conrad Hall controlling your emotional state Delta contempt facebook activity appreciation personal growth dental practice remodel stress what you name the thing linda larsen selling happiness expectations customer service training self-image defensiveness building character stress management fear of trump presidency marshmallow test American Idol getting to yes high self-esteem understanding communication clinical depression handling fear coping with anxiety Shakespeare, thank-you notes acting self confidence speak up Changing perspectives Noah Racey's Pulse compassion difficult patients stonewalling gift ideas feeling good Lin-Manuel Miranda passion chronic back pain achieving success personal development learning confidence public speaking horror stories how to listen healthcare sleep funny motivational speakers how to deal with negative people Gary Marachek vision boards positive perspective difficult people patient service conflict management motivational speaker success positive attitude Donald Trump changing habits liking attitude funny motivational speaker tension advertising raising happy children happiness building rapport motivational speaker Linda Larsen Asolo State Theater power of a smile happiness at work Meryl Runion speaking nightmares successful dental practices Tim Richardson marriage Politifact goal setting actors time management Hillary Clinton truth in politics funny video brain chemistry holiday stress personal achievement personal responsibility habits finding humor attitudes multi-tasking changing behaviors lying in politics Dr. Brene Brown, The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto overcoming adversity laughter motivational speaker Brad Montgomery funny motivational speaker Linda Larsen truth friendships losing weight husbands who don't listen Broadway change bucket list encouragement costumes effective communication latex mattress review