Etiquette School is in session! > The Ehell Guide to Never Behaving Badly

Customer service etiquette

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Lisbeth:
1.  Customers should not have to wait for prolonged periods of time before being served.  A staffer who is not otherwise occupied with work (not personal matters) should immediately attend to a newly arrived customer.

2.  Staffers have no business shouting at customers, making snide remarks to or about customers, or refusing to serve customers unless the customer's behavior is out of line (personal dislike of a customer does not qualify as "out of line behavior" on the customer's part). 

3. It is not the job of staffers to estimate the income of customers or their ability to afford the goods or services they are attempting to purchase.  The customers themselves should inform the staffers of their budgets.

4.  Once a customer has declared that s/he is not interested in what you are suggesting they buy, immediately cease and desist from attempting to sell that particular good or service to that customer.

5.  Staffers should greet all customers with a friendly, professional attitude and have sincerely pleasant looks on their faces (not necessarily big smiles but not frowns or scowls).  It is not appropriate to address a woman customer as "lady."  Children customers must not be patronized or given disrespectful treatment by staffers.  It is never appropriate to treat customers as though they are wasting your time, even when they are.

6.  Staffers should not "dump on" customers-it is not their business why something in one's personal or professional life isn't going well.

7.  If a customer indicates that s/he does not need assistance, the staffer should respect that and not foist unwanted attention on that customer.

8.  If a staffer has indicated that s/he will respond to a customer within a fixed period of time or otherwise follow up on a matter, s/he needs to do that and not leave the customer hanging.

9.  If it isn't possible to provide a customer with what s/he wants, the staffer needs to indicate this in a manner that is sympathetic to the customer.  Abruptness, brusqueness, curtness, or excessive terseness in manner, whether in person, in writing, on the telephone, or through E-mail is off-putting and can result in loss of business, as will appearing bored.

10.  Snide remarks and negative attitudes about one's business's competitors is inappropriate.

11.  When speaking to a customer on the telephone, it is not appropriate to put him/her on hold for a prolonged period of time or on a speakerphone without their permission.  Speaking clearly and not in a monotone is essential.

12.  A little empathy and understanding on the part of a customer service representative will go a long way.

nekoro:
The only one I have a problem with is number 4.  As much as I wish this weren't so, sometimes it's not my decision whether or not to take "no" for an answer.  Sometimes it's my bosses' decision, and my job can be in trouble if I disregard that.

So, maybe that one should be less for the face-to-face people in the stores, and more for the corporate bigwigs who seem to have forgotten that no means no.

MaggieB:
You're on a roll with these, Keen Reader!  The list looks great. 


--- Quote from: nekoro on March 10, 2009, 12:48:30 AM ---The only one I have a problem with is number 4.  As much as I wish this weren't so, sometimes it's not my decision whether or not to take "no" for an answer.  Sometimes it's my bosses' decision, and my job can be in trouble if I disregard that.

So, maybe that one should be less for the face-to-face people in the stores, and more for the corporate bigwigs who seem to have forgotten that no means no.

--- End quote ---

I definitely understand where you're coming from, but your boss is still asking you to be rude.  I was going to say that I'm surprised this is actually policy, but I'm really not surprised at all.   ;)  You're right, this one should be aimed at whomever is making the rule, whether it's corporate policy or whether the salesperson feels he or she has better luck when putting on the pressure.

Millionaire Maria:
KeenReader, did you want to add etiquette rules of how customers should treat CSRs in this thread, or did you plan to start another one? If you do, I will post in that one, but if not I have some suggestions for this thread. Let me know, because I don't want to start an avalanche on this one if that is not the purpose of it. Thanks  :).

Lisbeth:

--- Quote from: Maria DD on March 10, 2009, 04:52:14 AM ---KeenReader, did you want to add etiquette rules of how customers should treat CSRs in this thread, or did you plan to start another one? If you do, I will post in that one, but if not I have some suggestions for this thread. Let me know, because I don't want to start an avalanche on this one if that is not the purpose of it. Thanks  :).

--- End quote ---

Feel free to add your suggestions to this thread.  I'd like to see them, wherever they're posted!

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