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ARTICLESPersonality & Attitude

IS HE MY CUSTOMER OR IS HE A CUSS-TO-ME

How do you see a customer? Do you see him as a pleasure or a pain? Do you see him as a customer or as a cuss-to-me? Do you feel like welcoming him or do you manage to drive him away.

Whether in person or over the phone, whether it is verbal communication or written, whether it is at eight in the morning or five in the evening, the way you see your customer is the way he is going to see you and your business. You welcome him and he will feel welcomed. If you remain busy on the phone or continue with your manicure and do not acknowledge his presence, he is going to feel unwanted. I am sure it is an experience we all have encountered sometime or the other.

While right or positive attitude must be the order of the day for any healthy organization, it is important that frontline and customer handling staff bring it with them to work. It is a prerequisite. For only when they love their customers and are genuinely happy to serve, can they please them. Trainings of course, help to develop it and meet company requirements. But such trainings will do no good to a person who dislikes people or who does not understand them. His inherent qualities do come forth. A ‘put on’ smile can invariably be seen miles away. Or if you seem more interested in the magazine you are reading, your customer will obviously stand second on priority.

I walked into this fairly well known laundry to get my suit pressed. I needed it urgently for an important meeting. The person behind the counter informed me that it could be collected after 2 days. I requested if there was any way to get it the next day. He told me he would work it out. The following day on checking, he told me that it was ready and was expecting me. Great! I picked my suit obviously grateful, paid up and headed to exit when he wished me with “Have a nice day”. I said “Thank you”. He then added, “Have a nice meeting tomorrow”. A little surprised and pleased I thanked once again and walked out.

Now here was a person who I did not know from Adam. I had just met him the day before, worked an arrangement to get my suit urgently. We did not have any common bond. Language and culture was fairly diverse. Under the circumstance “Have a nice day” was understandable. But “Have a nice meeting tomorrow” was a toss that bowled me over. He made me realize that there was a bond after all. It was that of a service provider and a customer. He had the right attitude while dealing with his customer. He showed empathy. He obviously delighted me. He ensured my next visit to his establishment. Now don’t you think he had an attitude that satisfied customers?

OWNERSHIP

Having the right attitude definitely helps you do well. It also helps your company with a better image and more business. But the most important thing is that this attitude is yours. It belongs to you. It goes with you wherever you go. So if your company recognizes your contribution of a good attitude and more business and treats you well, then you are in the right place.

Should it be otherwise and you are shortchanged, continue with the good attitude. This might seem a difficult task and a tremendous effort but when you continue doing a good job and think you did the right thing, you carry that confidence to your next employer. You can look him eye to eye and say, “Yes I have done it in adverse conditions and I can do it.” Should that ever happen then, along with collecting your personal belongings from you old workplace, one other thing that goes with you is your attitude.

NURTURE

Since attitude belongs to you, it is your responsibility to take care of it. Nurture it. Don’t let it go astray. Often our attitude gets distracted and distorted due to external conditions. The happenings around us tend to determine our attitude. And it is at such times you need to remind yourself “Hey this is mine and I got to take care of it”. It is possible that your boss did not recognize your good work. Maybe he was too busy or maybe he felt insecure. But so long as you are satisfied for having done a good job, then give yourself a pat on the back. This is where self-praise pays.

TAKE A BREAK

What would be your reaction and attitude towards your customer after your have had a chat with your boss where (a) he chides you for not doing something right (b) he offers you a promotion. After meeting with the boss would you see your customer as a pleasure or pain? In both scenarios while things have not changed much, there has been a tremendous change in your approach. A chide has brought you down while a promotion has made you exuberant. You in accordance tend to pass similar emotions to your customer.

All days will not be alike. Circumstances – at home or work take you on a roller coaster ride. Ups and downs are bound to be there. When you are ‘up’ all is well but when you are ‘down’ take a break. Is it worth adding stress to your attitude while handling customers? Can you justify both equally and efficiently? Subconscious gives your customer second place. It then makes sense to excuse yourself. Think about your problem, cry if you must, washrooms help, have a chocolate, talk to your boss, make your calls, find a solution and get back to work focused and positive.

There could also be days when you are really down in the dumps. Again take a break. Sick leave does not constitute fever and back pain alone. Mental fatigue, in today’s pace can be considered an illness by itself that needs attention and rest. Take care of it and come back to work with a positive attitude. Attitude with stress turns negative and results in loss to one and all – yourself, your customers and your company.

MINDSET

Attitude is a mindset. It is a choice.

Imagine you are in a sauna and come out after 10 minutes. You feel great sweating out. You’d say, “It is invigorating”. Now imagine if you had to step out of the pool to take an urgent call. You are in the same attire, standing beside the pool under a shade but in the month of August. You speak for a brief 2-3 minutes. You’d disconnect and retort “Oh God it is unbearably hot”.

While both scenarios were similar in nature your mindset was not. While you chose the sauna you did not choose the August heat. Obviously it was an irritant.

Mindset cannot be better personified than by the RJ of your favorite radio station who you listen to while driving to or from work. Don’t you think RJ’s might also have their bad days? They could also have problems from family to finance or promotion to payments. They also get headaches. But do you catch a trace of it. You pass your time happily listening to the radio not knowing when you reached your destination. It’s because they come on air with the right attitude of satisfying their listeners and keeping them glued to the station.

Dealing with customers? Do it with a positive attitude for, this satisfies your customer, helps your company and does a world of good for you.

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