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Isn't That What Customer Service is All About?

Aug 17, 2007
Last week I went to a local pharmacy to have a prescription filled. As I approached the prescription counter I noticed a sign beside the cash register that said, " Let's Talk." Considering it an invitation I said in a friendly, cheery voice, " OK let's talk." and proceeded to say " How are you today?" The woman waiting on me was not amused. She looked at me in frigid, non-responsive silence and finally said cooly, " Can I help you?"

It didn't take a degree in nuclear physics to figure out that she was totally ignoring my humble attempt to be friendly so I too immediately responded to her icy tone with one of my own. I gave her the information regarding my prescription and was told curtly that I was at the wrong counter. I was at the "PRESCRIPTION OUT" counter when I should be at the
" PRESCRIPTION IN " counter. How silly of me to make such a mistake. Maybe that's why she was so unfriendly to me. I had committed a huge unforgivable sin in Pharmacy Land.

As I approached the proper counter I once again saw the sign, " Let's Talk." and decided to give the place a second chance. I looked at the lady waiting on me and said once again in an upbeat and friendly tone, " The other woman who waited on me wasn't really in the mood to talk so I came down here. So "Let's talk."

Again stone cold, icy silence followed by " Can I help you?" If you can't beat them, join them so I too became cool, abrupt, assertive and said, " Mike Moore/ Doctor Quinn/ asthma medication/ repeat required please. She checked the computer and found that I did have 4 repeats left. I told her that I would be in at 10:00 a.m. the next day to pick it up and I left. I know I shouldn't have responded in kind but I was ticked off at the way a paying customer was being treated.

I wanted to hand the woman my card and tell her that I spoke to companies and organizations on customer relations and would be more that happy to conduct a seminar for their employees on the topic. But I didn't.

I'm not saying that dealing with the public is easy. It isn't. In fact it can be very stressful but you can neutralize the stress with a simple smile and a bit of humor. All these people needed to do when I responded to their invitation to talk was smile and say in a friendly tone, "OK. Let's talk. What can I do for you?"

Simple, easy, effective and it leaves your customer wanting to return to do business with you. Isn't that what customer service is all about?
About the Author
Mike Moore is a speaker/humorist who speaks on " Humor and Stress" Humor in the Workplace" and "Customer Relations"
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