Customer Service

October 1, 2008

I’m actually not surprised that all the tips on dealing with toddlers are exactly the same as tips for dealing with difficult customers.  Although I’m not sure what this says about angry people.  Do we regress to toddlerhood when frustrated?  Or are we really closer to our kid selves than we’d like to admit?  Either way, my ages of customer service experience are serving me very well as a parent.

Google “angry customers” and you get tons of articles on what to do.  They all talk about empathy, using “I” statements and “active listening” and offering the customer alternatives to what you can’t do for them and for what is pissing them off in the first place (“I know we said your car would be ready today but the part didn’t come in.  I know how awful and inconvenient that is.  When my car is in the shop it’s just impossible to find rides.  Would you like to use our shuttle service?”).  And stay calm and use a soothing voice.  Sound familiar, parents?

Now google “temper tantrums”.  See?  You distract them with alternatives to what they can’t have (How about some raisins?  We’ll have a cookie later.)  You empathize and use “I” statements (I know you are angry that you can’t have a cookie, but cookies are for dessert and fruit is for snacks.  I would like a cookie, too, but we have to wait.)  Oh, and be sure to stay calm and use a soothing voice.  You do get to hug your kids.  I truly hope that hugging doesn’t become the next big thing in customer service!

I am absolutely sure that if I looked into it, most of these suggestions would also come into play when dealing with an angry dog, too.  I mean, you have to talk to it in a soothing voice and distract it with something, right?

We are all, from the cradle to the grave, just animals.  Or at least, toddlers.

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One Response to “Customer Service”

  1. Annemarie Says:

    Sadly, I probably know what a mastic system muskie is. That’s Jason’s new thing.

    p.s. Tag! Check out my blog for details of your tagdedness.


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