When you are talking with your manufacturer’s sales representative and you are describing a challenge, have you ever heard the response “I have never heard that before”? Or if you are on with a customer service person and you are describing a challenge you are experiencing with a product you ordered, and the response is “Our policy is….”?

These are almost automated phrases that we all hear regularly. And we all (myself included) have probably said them to people at different times throughout our careers. As consumers, we also have our automated responses ready. When we go into a retail store looking for something, and the salesperson asks us, “Is there anything I can help you find?” Our auto response kicks in and we say “No, just looking.”

How do those responses make you feel? With me, I do not care what the “policy” is – I care about getting my situation squared away. As my friend Jeffrey Gitomer says, “I would rather hear something like this: ‘To be fair to everyone, this is how we handle this situation,’ instead of ‘our policy is…’”

We need to break out of these auto-responses to help not only better service our customers but also to differentiate ourselves from the “typical” responses or ways to handle situations. We want to be challenge solvers, not problem solvers.

To be truly effective and world-class with customers, we need to reprogram our minds and not rely on auto-pilot so much. I also appreciate the demand for quick responses to customers. But I would rather have the correct response rather than a fast one.

Let’s all make a goal not to outsource our responses so much and be more customized in talking with customers.

Great Selling!

Tyson's Take

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