I’m sitting at a restaurant, telling the waiter about my dissatisfaction with the salad I ordered. The lettuce is dry, and the cherry tomatoes are sour because they’re so far from being ripe. The waiter responds that the chef is having an “off day.” When I ask to talk to the chef, the chef explains that the ingredients they got were not the usual quality, and the “damn” vendor really screwed them.
I’m wondering to myself, are they going to take the salad off the bill, or am I going to have to find the farmer that grew the vegetables to get reimbursed for this salad?
How many times do we fail to take personal responsibility for the dissatisfaction of our customers? How many excuses do we make to shift the blame away from ourselves, onto one of our vendors, co-workers, our company, or even back onto our customers?
Dale Carnegie’s Principle #17 is:
“Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.”
When we’re the customer, all we want to know is how the person we are talking to is going to make the problem right. We don’t want to hear a long story about who’s fault it is. The only person we hold accountable is the person right in front of us.
When we are speaking to your customer, WE ALONE are accountable. So take ownership! When a customer complains, it’s an opportunity to grow the relationship by solving it swiftly.