MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS – DAY 11 OF A 30 DAY BLOG (RANT?)
There are times when, no matter how sincere your efforts, customers don’t want that something special which you think makes you special. They don’t want to engage in the way you hope.
In a shop they refuse to wait to be served, even for a few seconds. One the phone they get grumpy when you can not answer their question immediately.
The challenge is to leap over these situations, for dwelling on them could de-motivate you from helping those who really want to engage with you.
It is in situations like this where fakes can be discovered. By fake I mean someone who has the words and actions of exceptional customer service but they don’t feel it in their heart. Probably because they (you) are unhappy at work.
If you don’t like your job, leave. If you don’t like owning your business, sell.
You have to like what you do. If you don’t then give up. Now!
If you really enjoy what you do and want to be there and if that’s what a grumpy or non-engaging customer sees then they have got the take-away they need. This is why even a smile in such a grumpy situation is better than any words. But it has to be a genuine smile and not smile number 22, the fake one you do when you don’t want someone to know what you really think.
Qantas needs to provide its employees some of this training. I continue to be amazed that it was Qantas that survived while Ansett didn’t. Ansett employees were friendlier than Qantas employees. I encountered someone the other day at a Qantas counter in Sydney who was so wonderful and helpful that I told them their service was so good it was un-Qantas like. They told me they used to work for Ansett! Qantas employees are courteous but I rarely get a sense that they mean it. I doubt that many of the ones I encounter (and I encounter plenty each week) actually like their job. And I don’t think it’s me making them grumpy. No, they do this all on their own. Because they don’t like the company they work for.
Liking what you do is crucial to being able to serve those you interact with (customers, co-workers, the boss and friends) well. It’s worth the effort to find work you like to do and a company which provides the environment which helps you enjoy coming to work every day. Once you have found it, it shows. And that’s what will work with those who don’t wish to engage with you when you try and go the extra mile.
You cannot learn this feeling of liking what you do. You either do or don’t. This is why the Oasis strategy is mutli-faceted. It’s about the two-way relationship between you and your customers, you and your co-workers, you and your employer and you and yourself. The you and yourself relationship is the key. It’s also the relationship you have the most control over. It starts with finding the right place to work and then doing what is necessary for you to want to come to work every day. (personalizing your workplace, music, time out, good coffee, making friends and bringing something of you into the business).
This is hard work because it is personal and emotional. As I said earlier, you cannot learn this, nor can you fake it.
The rewards are happier times at work, better relationships and more take aways for you.
Those grumpy customers who don’t want to engage with you will get it one day, maybe thanks to you.
You don’t have to answer
There’s no need to speak
I’ll be your belly dancer, prancer
And you can be my sheik