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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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The Biz Question

I recently had a frustrating experience as a customer, and it made me think about customer service at my local biz. In my situation, I was overcharged for my hotel stay, according to my initial agreement with the hotel. As a result, my account was overdrawn for approximately $200. I could not access any funds and I couldn't purchase anything for several days.

When I complained to management, I got nowhere. The manager was rude and very unprofessional during the entire conversation. I hit brick walls.

I like the location and the overall atmosphere of the hotel, but I simply didn't approve of manager's attitude. She didn't treat me like a customer, she treated me like I was her worst enemy!

How can my biz learn from my customer service nightmare?

Jill

Answer from our Guest Expert Donna Hall of The Right Answer, Customer Service Consultants

Wow, Jill! I'm willing to bet that no customer service person or biz owner wants to hear a story like that. But there's always a silver lining to every story, right? So, here's some service lessons to take back to your biz kitchen. Be sure to post them on your refrigerator for good measure!

The Golden Rule

When it comes to good customer service, I can't emphasize enough the value of good listening skills. The golden rule of customer service is: Listen! Listen! Listen! (to your customers). Don't be quick to defend yourself or interrupt customers. Let them explain their problem fully. A good listener often hears what's going on between the lines and can smooth ruffled feathers quickly. So, always, listen with biz-friendly ears.

Unfortunately, Jill, your customer service nightmare isn't all that uncommon. Sometimes, as service advocates, we don't fully listen to our customers. Simply put, harried biz owners and/or service reps often find they have no energy left to deal with one more complaint. That's when you have to dig deep and find your service smile -- no matter how hard it is to do -- and listen well. continued

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Donna Hall

Donna Hall, President of The Right Answer
Donna has been making customers happy and satisfied for more than 15 years. She learned to be a customer service whiz in the medical and newspaper industries. more