I observed her walk through the door with an I’ll pistol whip you right now if you even think about saying the wrong thing to me look on her face.
I was standing in line with an older Gentleman and Lady waiting to be served after me. There was another Male Customer being serve by a Sales Representative. We all were at the Sears Service Center located in Lansing, Illinois.
Just as another Sales Representative, probably just returning from her break asked to serve me with my bringing in my lawn-mower for service, I see out of the corner of my right the Lady with the Pistol-Whipping attitude march in, approach the other Service Representative serving her Male Customer. Ignoring the fact the Service Representative was serving him, the Pistol-Whipping Attitude Lady demands the Service Representative call out to one of the Guys in the store room to accompany her to her car to bring in her lawn-mower.
Right at that moment the Department Manager walks up to the counter announcing there is no Male presently in the store room to help Miss Pistol-Whipping Attitude Lady, who immediately shift gears from Pistol-Whipping Attitude to now you’re going to get some Funky-Nasty Attitude.
She explains she just picked up her lawn-mower, and upon arriving home she discovered the Repair-Technician did not fully tighten down the top of her lawn-mower. She testified she called the store reporting her issue, and was told to immediately return to get the oversight corrected. She shouted she was told one of the Service-Guys would help her bring the lown-mower back in the store from her trunk. This was a conversation taking place over the telephone just 8 minutes ago.
The Department Manager response with well He is not here, and I hope you don’t expect one of us Ladies to go out there and bring it in? I immediately thought, no baby don’t say it that way to her. You’ve just picked a fight you’ll never win. As I was thinking it, Miss Funky-Nasty Attitude went fire-power totally off on the Department Manager.
Fortunately, the Service Representative serving me was nearly done with serving me, and I felt compelled to step in, and help remedy this poor customer service situation, so I addressed Miss Funky-Nasty Attitude with hello Miss my name is Dale. I’m nearly done with being served, and I’d like to help you with bringing your lawn-mower in so they can fix your problem.
She gave me a look like why in the Hell are you getting in my business, but paused just long enough to allow my charm to cause her to think I could be a possible solution to her problem.
She said Sir I don’t know if you can help me because it appears they have no one here who can fix my problem? She told me she works long hours as a Postal Worker, and have limited time for this kind of foolishness, and now they have wasted a significant part of her off day, and for that there is Hell to pay.
I said please be willing to adjust to your having to consider a plan B, but please consider this Service Representative you are yelling at is presently serving another Customer, and you interrupted their dialogue while walking right past the two Customers waiting to be served behind me. I asked her to place herself in their shoes of feeling your action as a little unfair to them? Please consider I am here now willing to help you, and if we get your lawn-mower back in here, they will at least have it to correct the mistake? I gave her a look of I really care about your problem.
I motioned to her to let’s go walk towards her car to get her lawn-mower. She began to calm down and follow me. As she started to follow me the Older Gentleman in line behind me said I’ll walk with the two of you to help. He told her none of this was worth her getting her blood pressure up and over the boiling point.
While outside in the parking lot, upon removing her lawn-mower from her car, I asked if I could share something with her? She said sure. I explained I got involved because I wanted the Staff to see someone cared for you, and what Good Customer Service looks like. I shared I was sorry she had a bad experience, but I needed her to calm herself totally down, and go back in the Store staying calm, and allowing the power of her Charm to motivate them to go out of their way to resolve her issue.
I worked for Sears all during my College years. I remember immediately upon being hired, I attended about a two week Customer Service New Employee Training Program in their Calumet City, Illinois River Oaks Store. I was so impressed with the training, giving me a solid foundation in Customer Service which is the secret to my sustaining over 28 years in business. I was so surprised at how this Service Department Manager handled this situation. I hope she was just having a bad moment, and this was not how she handled stressful moments with Customers.
There is a timeless old rule of Customer Service, people don’t care what you know or what your situation is, until you show them you care about them and their situation..
If this Department Manager would have first apologized for Miss Now Charming Disposition’s inconvenience, and inquired what was most important to her, she would have not needed me to intervene, and pull this frustrated Lady off of jumping off the Cliff of walking up one side of this Department Manager, and down the other side of her with her Pistol-Whipping Fire-Power filled words heard all over the Store, causing all activity to stop to pay attention to the drama unfolding into very ugly.
I had to step in because I knew the next words coming out of this Department Manager’s mouth was going to start a big fight. I could not let that happen when I felt a caring response could quickly resolve the anger.
Sorry, I don’t know the outcome. I felt my job was done in the parking lot. I got the now Sweet Lady to think of a better way to resolve her challenge. Plus, I knew the Elder Gentleman was walking back with her into the Store. I trusted he would intervene as needed.
I want to thank Vincent for reminding me of this little lesson, and if you have any questions about mortgage financing, this is how you may contact him:
Senior Mortgage Consultant
Efax: (773) 435-6468
Cell: (773) 255-1698