Thursday, January 19, 2006

Customer Disservice has some excellent guidelines on how to drive a customer crazy. I think I've seen all of these.

  • Pretend you haven’t noticed they are there.
  • Stay in first gear, especially when they are rushing.
  • Let them overhear your personal phone call, and make no attempt to end it.
  • Open late. Close early.
  • Say “That’s not our policy.”
  • Say “That’s not my job.”
  • Say “I’m not allowed to do that.”
  • Say “I have no idea.”
  • Say “Are you sure that’s what you want?”
  • Slouch. Chew Gum. Twirl your hair between your fingers.
  • Give them a blank stare, or worse, roll your eyes.
  • Fidget distractedly.
  • Appear bored.
  • Finish whatever other task you have at hand, while they wait for you to attend to them.
  • Talk story with other employees.
  • Laugh at an “inside joke” they are not privy to.
  • Speak in a monotone.
  • See how long you can go without smiling.
  • Be late for their appointment or with their reservation.
  • Take shortcuts with your service, saying “you don’t really need this part do you?”
  • Make excuses.
  • Have a quick comeback for every point they may wish to make with you.
  • Offer mechanical, routine service that is so uneventful, so ordinary, that they expect to pull a number and listen for you to call out “Next!”
  • Look at them with open disapproval or impatience.
  • Speak so softly, or in such a rush, that they need to keep asking “What was that?”
  • Give them directions so involved or confusing they have to write them down.
  • Give them “scenic” directions that take them out of their way when they really wanted a shortcut.
  • Ignore the very young and very old in the group, talking only to the ones you assume are the “responsible ones” - or the paying ones.
  • Assume that all customers are the same, and you already know what they want.


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