Customer Service: Your Words Can Affect Your Results

CustomerServPrior2JI have a confession to make: I work weird hours. I work when other people don’t, which means that I eat breakfast at about noon, lunch at 4pm, and dinner around 9-10pm. This is actually a good thing, because I hit the slow hours at various restaurants and shops. There just so happens to be a Subway not too far from my office, and yesterday I went in there to grab a sandwich, as I do about once a week.

Whenever I walk in there, I am usually doing business with one of two different women. Both give me great customer service, but no matter how many times I come in, one of them is always exceptionally polite. She calls me “sir” after every question, and even when they are all out of whatever I might want, she is very apologetic. This kind of customer service is a breath of fresh air, compared to the service I get at a lot of places that take their customers for granted.

The kicker is that yesterday, when I came in, she knew the kind of bread that I wanted on my sandwich, and asked me if I wanted that kind of bread instead of saying “what kind of bread do you want?” She asked me if I wanted my usual sandwich (which is the Spicy Italian with Oil and Vinegar and spicy mustard. You’d think this sandwich was spicy with all the talk of “spicy” in it, but its actually pretty tame, and I really dig it!), instead of asking me “what kind of sandwich?”

Now it may just be that I’ve walked in there enough times for her to know exactly what I want, and because I guess I would be considered a “regular” and that just makes sense, right? Wrong. Because she could have asked me the same questions over and over again, and I would have answered them as I usually do, and would have thought nothing of it. The key here is that not only did she remember me, but she knew what I wanted.

If you read this thing, you know that I go on and on about how we can’t affect people’s emotional state; that there are certain things we just can’t control. But I’m going to turn that on its ear for a second and throw an idea out there for kicks and giggles.

What if there are people out there that are open to feeling better? What if they are looking to feel a certain way, and somehow, some way, you are able to give that feeling to them?

I look at this in terms of how I do therapy. People come to me because they want to feel better, or they want to change something in their lives so they can live better. Its basically my job to let them know that I can do that for them, and then actually do that for them. However, I can’t really change their emotions, can I? Nope. Not without them being open to my help, I can’t.

Think about this in terms of your business, or your family or work relationships. How many people do you know well enough to be able to give them what they want and as a result, brighten their day or change how they feel? There are obvious exceptions to this rule, but really think about it. That woman at  Subway knew me enough to know what I wanted, and that made me feel pretty dang cool. It was so simple, and so ridiculous, and yet, it made a difference in how I saw her customer service.

If you have a small business, this is imperative. Marketing has changed from being in your face, to being ready to serve when people are looking. That’s exactly what happened here, and it made me think a bit about how I can be a better counselor, and offer something better to people. Some people won’t like it, some people will.  If they do, does that mean they’ll be more likely to come back to me or refer their friends? Probably.

There are some things we can’t change, but we can change how we communicate to people. How they interpret that information and make changes in their lives is up to them. Still, a little awareness of how we treat people could go a long way. So consider how you can be amazing to people in all areas of your life, and show them what you’ve got. It may just pay off!