I was thinking (again) about customer service and how to build relationships, when I realized I hadn’t told you about what happened to me at the Unified Symposium this year.
It was set up day for the conference and soon after I arrived I went to get my identification badge. When I got to the head of the line (a longish process, but to be fair it’s a big trade show and they had lots of badges to hand out) I was told that they didn’t have a badge for me. The lady I was dealing with told me – in a rather dramatic voice -that I would have to go next door. She pointed to a serious looking young man standing in the corner and said: “Jeffrey will show you where to go.” I looked over at Jeffrey, who looked none too cheerful, and realized that I felt like a character in a SciFi movie. You know, the character who is going to be pounced on and blown to smithereens. I turned to the man behind me (who I knew) and said, “ And you will never see me again!”
I am glad to say that Jeffrey delivered me safely to the next room. I was told to complete the information shown on a computer screen, which I did. I pushed the button to continue to the next page, but the computer did not want to. So I pushed the button again. Still nothing. Going to the desk, I explained my predicament to the three people standing there. A young lady smiled at me and said in a patronizing voice,
“Let’s see what you’ve done wrong, shall we.”
As I stood there staring at her, one of the other people behind the counter said, “Well perhaps that could have been a little more tactful.” You think!
Sometimes we just don’t think about what we are saying, though when we are dealing with the public we need to be aware of what we are saying it and how it is likely to offend the customer. In my case, it was just more grist for my mill. And… I was happy to discover that the malfunction was with the computer, and not operator (me) error.
We all, on occasion, say the wrong thing at the wrong time, so listen to yourself and each other in the tasting room to make sure you are presenting the information in way that will make your visitors amenable to hearing it.
A tip of the glass from me to you!