Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Pet Peeve - clients that "talked to Derek"

One of my biggest pet peeves is customers who lie to us.  I am amazed by the lack of honesty and ownership that people take for their own actions any more.  One of the major advantages of me being out of the office so much over the last two months is my office staff has realized I am not the complete mess my customers often made me seem to be.  The typical scenario goes something like this.

Office Manager “Mrs. Smith, are calling because our cleaner is there and we could not find the key.  Is there another way in?”
Mrs. Smith “Well I talked to Derek last Tuesday and told him to skip this cleaning.”
Office Manager "I am so sorry for the mistake, would you like to reschedule?"

Normally this ends with my office staff rolling there eyes and deciding I have the world’s worst memory and I ALWAYS mess up the schedule.  As a result, the general consensus with my office staff is Derek cannot answer the phones because I just mess things up.  What has been interesting is in the month of February, I was in my office all of 4 days and on those 4 days I was in meetings with key staff for nearly every minute.  I did not answer the inbound phone line hardly at all and usually only on the employee line, not the customer line.  Well this last month the office staff started to keep track.  There were 9 customers that swore they talked to me.  One woman was very specific on the day and time, because she remembered she called from the shuttle bus at the airport and spoke to me.  (FYI I am the only male in the office so it is pretty clear when you get me or not).  I was in Dallas in the Home Cleaning Technician Class at the time.

I just wish they would admit, I am so sorry I forgot to call.  Instead they love to blame me.  I guess they figure 1.  The owner cannot get into trouble.  2.  They cannot argue if the owner said it was OK. 

Here is the really funny thing, we do not charge a lock out fee.  There is no reason for these people not to admit they did not call in or made a mistake.   For some reason it just seems to be the nature of some people to not want to admit they made a mistake.  I am not sure there is too much I can do about it but it is an interesting trend and something I figured I should warn other owners about.  Once you start having office staff everything mysteriously will become your fault.  We of course are very polite with customer and note what actually happened in our files.  If it happens too many times we may have to confront them on it.   But for the most part we have to be polite and take ownership of the “error” for the sake of good customer service.  But I have to admit, it really drives me nuts.

1 comment:

Shanta RCS said...

I've been their just mins ago. They will lie for any reason. Now some of my clients tell me if they forgot and others say i talked to someone in your office not knowing it's just me taking and making all the phone call setting up appointments and so on. Now once they find out it's just me and my loving husband than they say o well I guess I forgot. But we make almost every client happy but LORD knows some clients I have think 2x but I got to love'em. I'm blessed to have clients and work.I do understand I now just smile about it.