I work in retail, and have for a number of years. I see both sides of the fence when it comes to customer service. Not only do I deal with customers, but I also buy from vendors.
A couple of things I'll share with you on getting what you want when you are the customer. Be honest, be calm. Tell the person you are dealing with exactly what you want and why you are unimpressed. Most times, this is enough. If not, ask them what they would do if they were in your shoes. If this does not get you what you want, and you are 100% sure you are in the right, you have to tell them you will not be going anywhere until this is resolved. After a couple of minutes, they will do something, I assure you. Raise your voice a lot, do NOT yell, be firm in your belief you are right, and soon they will believe you as well. If you are wrong, and you try this approach, you will simply just look like an idiot.
What to do when dealing with "the customer". If somebody comes to you upset simply because they had a bad day, brush them off, but do it nicely. A simple, I'm sorry sir, I have no control over what you are upset about, we do have a toll free number you can call and talk directly to the people that make the decisions you are upset about. They won't like that answer, but have always left me alone because they feel they can now yell at my boss. To date, 1 person that I'm aware of actually called the number, and I assure you, I wasn't the one that looked like the idiot.
If someone approaches you with a genuine concern, hear them out. Put yourself in their shoes. Do what you can, and make sure they know you are doing as much as you can for them. If it's not enough, get someone who can do more and fill them in with the situation in front of the customer. DO NOT do this without the customer being a part of the conversation. This will genuinely irritate them. Almost all of the time, if you are honest, and do something for them, even if it's not what they are asking for, they will accept it, and thank you for your time.
You will at times have those that are just mad, and yell at you anyway. Stand your ground, and stay cool and calm. Be honest. After they calm down, even a day or 2 later, they will often come back to the store, or call, just to apologize. You have no idea what this does for your customer service credibility when a customer sees another customer apologize and then thank you for the time you spent with them. Word does get around.
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