The other day I called a local business where I am a frequent customer. I had a simple question. The owner answered the phone, giving the business name and her own. I replied by greeting her and identifying myself. So far so good. However as soon as I got the last syllable in Ramsey out of my mouth, she abruptly said, "Lydia, I will have to call you back. I am with a customer." "Wow," I thought, "What does she think I am?"
I understood that she was busy, in fact I could hear the stress in her voice when she answered the phone. Also not good. She runs a profitable venture but it is not because of her customer service skills. A bit of business manners could have gone a long way here. This woman only needed to say two things to make me a happy caller and satisfied customer.
- She should have said, "Lydia, may I call you back?"
- The next words she should have used were, "I am with another customer."
This woman lost sight of the fact that her business is not about how she feels; it's about how she makes the customer feel. As always, business etiquette is not about the rules; it's about the relationships. Her response to me did nothing to enhance our relationship.
Have you had a similar experieince? If you have, please share it in the comment box below and let me know how it made you feel and how you responded.