Author Topic: Would like advice regarding handling customers at work  (Read 3649 times)

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snugglegirl05

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Would like advice regarding handling customers at work
« on: June 24, 2009, 06:45:23 PM »
I work as a parking attendant inside a booth for the Visitor parking garage at a university.  The parking office is over the garage.  I am a contract employee working for a parking company which has a contract with the university.  Neither the parking office nor the parking company has trained me regarding handling difficult customers. 
Visitor parking is small.  It only has 55 spaces.  The parking office is responsible for reserving parking spots for guests arriving at the university for events.  One spot to the entire garage can be reserved.  According to the parking office, when the entire garage is reserved or when there are only enough spaces for the guests on the event list, I cannot let anyone else park.  According to the parking office, guests here for events have to tell me what event they are here for.  I cannot ask them which event they are here for.  The only solution I can offer is alternative parking at the several parking lots near the campus.  According to the university president, a sign stating reserved cannot be posted.  My job is to inform the customers that the garage is reserved.
I would like advice regarding handling customers who are
•   Obnoxious
•   Pushy
•   Frustrated
•   Rude
As well as…
•   Customers who have attitudes
•   Customers who complain about not being able to park
•   Customers who whine about not being able to park
•   Customers who return after not finding alternative parking wanting to know why they cannot park, & sometimes telling me they need to park
•   Former alumni who donate to the university
•   Customer's asking why is the garage reserved or which event the garage is reserved for
o   According to the parking office, I cannot give out the information because 1) the customer could say they are here for the event, & they are not (because they do not want to find alternative parking) & 2) if the customer is not attending the event, they cannot park & so there is no need for them to know why the garage is reserved or for which event the garage is reserved for   

FunkyMunky

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Re: Would like advice regarding handling customers at work
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2009, 10:53:35 PM »

Why can't you ask them which event they are there for? That would make your job much easier.

"It's booked? For which event?"
"Which event are you here for?"
"XYZ conference."
"There's no reserved parking for XYZ here, try lots A, B and J."

shhh its me

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Re: Would like advice regarding handling customers at work
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2009, 11:25:39 PM »
so if there is a widget convention and a thingamacallit convention and your lot is reserved for the widget convention if a guest for the widget convention drove up to your lot the conversation could go like this ?

guest for widget convention  pulls up
op " this lot is reserved"
g   " there's no sign"
op "sorry its reserved"
g   "for who"
op " for one of the conventions"
g " which I'm here for a convention"
op " I'm not allowed to say" and not allowed to ask which your here for argh
op " this lot is reserved you can park at lot A or B"
 guest drives around finds alll the other spaces full arrives back at op's lot
op "please your lots till half empty I couldn't find a space anywhere"
op "sorry its reserved "
guest finally finds a space somewhere ...get to convention and fins he was meant to park in op's lot to begin with

Wow the rules they have set for you makes it impossible to do your job without irritating people. I can understand why you cant announce which event the lot is reserved for but to not be able to ask boggles the mind and depending on the set up not being able to put out reserved sign ..all of my local universities have one way streets circling them so if there wasn't a sign in reserved it ten minutes back to start point.




camlan

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Re: Would like advice regarding handling customers at work
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 10:21:45 AM »
What's mindboggling about this boondoggle is that someone who is attending the event for which the garage is reserved might well end up driving all over campus trying to find a place to park, because the driver didn't think to say, "I'm here for the Alumni Dinner," and snugglegirl05 can't ask, "Are  you here for the Alumni Dinner," or state, "The garage is reserved for those attending the Alumni Dinner."

If both sides, garage administration and university administration are happy with this, there's little you can do. Other than to ask if the University could include a parking pass in with the other information about the event. Or a secret password that the driver has to give the parking attendant.

As to the general rudeness of other drivers, who really just want to find a place to park (and I suspect parking for visitors is somewhat limited on campus), even if they are rude to you, the best thing is to keep fairly cheerful yourself. It would also help if you could hand out a map with the parking lots where they can park clearly marked on it. (I suggested this at a parking meeting at a University I attended--the administration couldn't understand that a *visitor* to campus wouldn't know the bizarre system of one-way roads or the fact that most of the parking lots were tucked away out of sight.)

One way to get around not being able to ask why they are on campus is: "If you would tell me what event you are on campus for, I can check to see if you can park here today." "Oh, just tell me what events are on today." "I'm sorry, I can't do that. But if you would let me know what you are here for, I can check." Although if they aren't saying why they are there at that point, they probably can't park in the garage.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


caranfin

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Re: Would like advice regarding handling customers at work
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2009, 10:46:42 AM »
According to the parking office, guests here for events have to tell me what event they are here for.  I cannot ask them which event they are here for. 

This puts you in an impossible position. Is there any reason guests for reserved events can't be told that they must inform the parking attendant that they have a reserved spot?
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

crazedartist

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Re: Would like advice regarding handling customers at work
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2009, 01:15:47 PM »
Maybe I'm misinterpreting this but perhaps the rule is that you CAN say this:
"What event are you here for?"
but not say this:
"Are you here for the alumni dinner?"

Because in the former case, they have to correctly identify the event. In the latter case, they could just say "Yeah! Really! I'm not lying or anything!"

rhirhi

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Re: Would like advice regarding handling customers at work
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2009, 01:25:32 PM »
According to the parking office, guests here for events have to tell me what event they are here for.  I cannot ask them which event they are here for. 

This puts you in an impossible position. Is there any reason guests for reserved events can't be told that they must inform the parking attendant that they have a reserved spot?

I have an idea- the parking garage is for events that most likely have invitations, right?

Tell your bosses that they can either allow you to request the invitation, to instruct the patron on where to park, OR they can have their personal numbers given to the guests to ask where to park. Their choice.

wordgirl

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Re: Would like advice regarding handling customers at work
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009, 02:23:04 PM »
snugglegirl05, welcome to EHell!

I can see why this is frustrating. Your bosses have created an impossible situation. Something has to give.

If they really want to be that secretive about who's allowed to park in the garage, they have one of two options:

Distribute parking passes to the Chosen 55 or
Give you a list of people and/or tag numbers for that day's events.


Kaylee

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Re: Would like advice regarding handling customers at work
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2009, 02:41:45 PM »
Maybe I'm misinterpreting this but perhaps the rule is that you CAN say this:
"What event are you here for?"
but not say this:
"Are you here for the alumni dinner?"

Because in the former case, they have to correctly identify the event. In the latter case, they could just say "Yeah! Really! I'm not lying or anything!"

I'm really hoping that this is the case.  Because what on earth is the driver supposed to do otherwise?  You're standing there expectantly waiting for the magic words and they have no idea why you're not letting them in?

I can think of no situation more likely to create complaints.  Even if they were coming for the correct event, they aren't all going to understand that they need to state it explicitly unless prompted, and if they're not, the cat-and-mouse game of "We're reserved for an event.  I can't tell you what or why" is going to be frustrating.

Michelle Ravel

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Re: Would like advice regarding handling customers at work
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2009, 03:00:08 PM »
Sometimes laying it right on the table helps to dissipate anger.

"I'm sorry, but according to my contract I'm not allowed to give you any information."
"This is reserved, but I don't have the authority to tell you for who or what."

caranfin

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Re: Would like advice regarding handling customers at work
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2009, 03:51:40 PM »
I wonder if this would work.

"I'm sorry, there's no regular parking available. All of the spaces have been reserved for special functions at the university."
Hopefully this will lead them to say "Well, I'm here for a special function."
"Which one? Oh yes, that's on the list."
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

DaysOfPineAndRoses

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Re: Would like advice regarding handling customers at work
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2009, 07:05:53 PM »
Pretend to look at a paper and ask 'Which event are you attending?"

If they think there's a list, they may be less prone to argue.

After all, it's in writing. ;)