I think there’s a whole lot of truth to the old saying “The customer is always right.” I run my own company and have a staff of two who handle the phones. Most of my time is spent in the field with existing customers or in pursuit of new ones. Lately, I’ve been getting complaints from my customers about the way my staff addresses them when they call my office. They say the staff acts as if they are being bothered and show no interest in assisting. When I’ve confronted my staff about it, they get defensive and deny the allegations. How do I figure out who’s telling the truth? My customers have no reason to lie, but I don’t have actual proof of their allegations.
Concern with customer service
Dear Concern with customer service:
Are you familiar with secret shoppers, also known as mystery shoppers? These are people businesses employ to pose as shoppers in order to evaluate the quality of customer service dispensed by their employees. I suggest you employ a similar technique to determine the quality of your two employees. Have several people call your office posing as existing or potential customers. You can either be on the line listening in or be present when the individuals place their calls using the speaker phone option. If these calls enable you to verify the customers’ allegations, nip them in the bud immediately.
I’m in email hell and I’m not sure how it happened. I forwarded an email to a friend that I got from my boss being the typical jerk he can often be. The email showed how my boss doesn’t treat me so well. When my friend responded to my email, he trashed my boss and he mistakenly sent it to my boss versus me! How do I know this? My boss forwarded this friend’s email to me saying, “I think this was meant for you.” What do I do now?
Stuck in email hell
Dear Stuck in email hell:
First, take a deep breath, and when you have finished giving your friend a hard time for his mistake, determine what will be in your best interest. Obviously, some of your options include doing nothing; emailing your boss back with a simple “Thanks;” or talking to him about the incident face-to-face. Let your knowledge of your boss’s personality, his past behavior as well as your gut guide you. Good luck!
I’m a manager in a very small organization where the average age here has always been about 70. Up until a month ago, the youngest person was 50 years old. Thankfully, a couple of guys in their early 30s started working with us, but I’m sensing that they’re not real happy here. We’ve had several all-hands meetings and they say nothing, not one comment; but their body language screams boredom and disappointment. They’re not engaged and appear to be questioning the way we operate. No one, the other three managers; employees; or the owner, seems to notice or care about these guys being apathetic and maybe even quitting. I think they have a lot to contribute but need some encouragement. This needs to be addressed, but they don’t report to me and I don’t want to be accused of butting into another manager’s business or making something out of nothing. Do you have any suggestions?
Tap into the youth
Dear Tap into the youth:
I applaud you for recognizing the importance of embracing new employees and encouraging them to participate and contribute. I suggest that you have a meeting with the other managers where you recommend a mentoring program for all new employees, regardless of their age and/or experience. Have a document prepared that outlines the program’s goals and objectives, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the mentors and mentees. Volunteer to oversee this initiative. Hopefully, your colleagues and the owner will appreciate and respect your efforts and support them by helping you with their implementation. Best of luck!
© 2010 Rozanne R. Worrell