Anyone reading this will recognise themselves in either having been on the receiving end of this, or having had customers, clients, clients, delegates complain about this (in this case you might perceive the other person to be wrong).
This is not based on one particular case; rather it’s a summary of many different experiences, many of us will have had. Ever been somewhere where your needs are largely ignored because staff is getting things done’? Clearing tables, looking busy behind a desk or counters etc? The person you would like to help you or take you seriously is too busy focussing on the task rather than the person?
When as a customer you are unhappy, no one takes the initiative to put things right. It’s more the case that it seems too much trouble, or our procedures won’t allow that (airlines are good at this).
The member of staff of whom you expect help behaves as if you are just a downright nuisance. Sometimes they make the ‘right noises’ but then later you discover they did nothing? They say they’ll ‘pass the message’ but they don’t.
They repeatedly tell you what they can’t do, without offering any alternatives? An example of this and the previous question. We had a training room booked for 7 people on arrival there were twenty seven chairs in said room and two large tables (no tables required). We asked for the tables and twenty chairs to be removed. We were told ‘we have nowhere to put them,’ and asked ’are they really in your way?’and then ‘it makes it easier for us for later.’ I was told I was being unreasonable in my requests.
The staff whoever they are follows a set procedure, ‘read our customer policy’, ‘complain to our head office’, ‘I can’t do that for you’.
In terms of the Language and Behaviour Profile this translates as – Things, tasks, objects are more important than People – who pays the wages, affects your bottom line?
Staff are reacting – they will respond, so they don’t totally ignore you, but they are unwilling to take an initiative.
The staff and often company behaviour is that they believe that anyone who does not fit their expectations is completely out of line and odd.
These are people who would rather work alone, a common hiring error – companies ask for and hire people who can work ‘independently, at their own initiative’ – this leads to people whose preference is to work completely alone, i.e. in a darkened room with absolutely no customers around to bother them. Customers disturb them, get in the way of the things they have to do, keeping the place tidy, neat, looking good, and making life easy.
Staff only notice what is wrong or can’t be done in respect of the customer or client,
The staff are focussing on a process, rather than a service. On a linear progression that has no time, room or facility for dealing with complaints. The problem with this process is these people who have been hired to follow this process are people who once they have started, they cannot stop. Hell mend you if you interrupt them. They must get to the end of the process this is how they are made.
Recognise some of this in customer service you have received, or customer complaints you have had?
Next time ways to deal with this – from both angles
Rosie O’Hara is one of the UK’s foremost Trainers and Consultants of the Language and Behaviour (LAB) Profile®, Words that Change Minds. Her background is in mechanical engineering and the German language – more information on uses of the LAB Profile® for Team Building, HSE, Management, Negotiation, Market Research, Recruitment and in Executive Coaching and more contact Rosie on 07796 134081, 01224 900748, or 01309 676004 or consider the information on this website here