by Melanie Spring
Eyeglasses are my calling card. Some women have red lipstick or a fancy scarf; mine wasn't chosen. I've been wearing them since I was 7.
As a frugal person, I have a hard time dropping cash on anything unless I know it's something I'll use a lot. Eyeglasses are one of the few things I'll spend money on. The fanciest things I own are my Prada and Tiffany glasses. I wear these suckers every day. They're part of my face at this point. Every year or two I have to change my prescription and decide I need something new on my face. Did I say my glasses are a big deal to me?
Last year I went on vacation and lost the prescription sunglasses I've had for a few years. It took me 18 months to finally go to an optician to get my sunglasses replaced. I'm big on supporting local businesses so I walked across the street from HQ to the local optician. What happened next was incredible…
1. No one was in the main open reception area. (I waited...)
2. I started walking toward the sunglasses only to be stopped by a woman rushing at me from the back asking where I was going. (Umm...)
3. I explained I was looking for prescription sunglasses. (I was clear with what I needed.)
4. She begrudgingly started showing me a few pairs over my budget so I told her how I had lost my sunglasses and was hoping to keep my sunglasses under $200. (I was clear with my budget.)
5. She told me that if I spent more money on my sunglasses I wouldn't lose them. (I was nice enough not to hit her.)
6. I chose a pair and asked the cost of lenses and sunglasses. (Remember, my budget was under $200.)
7. Using her calculator, she said they were $325 total. (Umm…)
8. I told her I'd get back to her and left… (insulted.)
This woman didn't care about me. Maybe she had a sales quota to fill and I didn't help it enough. She didn't think about the future for her employer; only her pockets. (Remember Julia Roberts shopping at fancy stores before she got fancy? Yep. It was that feeling.)
Every one of your employees is the face of your brand. Every interaction can sway your potential customers. One bad interaction can cause you to lose a great customer, and all of the people that potential customer tells about the bad interaction.
Sadly, this experience is standard for customer service. Standard = SUCKS. If you are just ok at customer service, you'll be way better than your competition. If you don't belittle your customers, they may just want to come back. If you actually decide to be a customer service rockstar, your competition will have no chance.