I work in sales, specifically telephone sales. I sell classified ads over the phone. 95% of our business comes from people calling us to place an ad vs. us calling out. So one would think it is safe to assume that when people call us, they are doing so because they WANT to. Today, I have had nothing but people who sound anything BUT happy to call me.
It started at 8 this morning with a complaint call from someone whose primary language is not English. Apparently, they called in last week with changes to their ad. My associate read back the changes at that time, but the customer called today to say that the changes are incorrect. Oy! My associate isn't here today so I took the call. Oh man - you can be SURE that I read EVERY detail back to her. I made NOTES in the computer. I told her EVERY stinkin' paper her ad is going to be in. I read EVERY date it's running. If she calls next week saying it's wrong, I'm going to freak out!
Just now, I had a call from someone who wanted to place a garage sale ad. They usually range in price from $15- $30, depending on how many lines the ad is. Well, this ad was quite lengthy and as she spoke, I could tell she was JUST IRritated. So as we went, I tried to be extra friendly, saying things like:
Yes, we usually can't do that, but I'll make an exception for you, is that S as in Sam or F as in Frank, how do you spell that, let me read this back to you so that I'm certain I get it exactly right, etc.
At the end of me typing the ad, I told her the price would be $31. She shouted, "Forget it!"
I said, "Would you like to shorten the ad to reduce the cost because we certainly can do that."
She goes, "You cost 3 TIMES AS MUCH AS THE NEIGHBORING PAPER!"
I said, "I don't know if this helps, but it's my understanding that THAT paper hasn't raised their rates since the 80's. We hadn't either, until this January. We just couldn't continue to give away ads. We're sorry."
"WELL, THIS IS RIDICULOUS!"
I said in a very friendly, empathetic voice, "I hear that you are frustrated. What can I do to help?"
"Well, this isn't very USER-FRIENDLY."
I empathetically said, "I understand. How can we improve the process? We really appreciate your suggestions and we want to make this better for you."
She goes, "JUST FORGET IT!"
Ok. Folks, when you've had a bad day or the heat is getting to you or you've changed 5 poopie diapers or your debit card was stolen or WHATEVER the issue is that's put you in a bad mood, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE try not to take it out on a service that YOU called and that YOU want, especially when that service is REALLY trying to work with you. Remember that on the other end of the phone is a person too, just like you. Let's treat each other well. We're all we've got!