Pet Women Weekly – I’m Sorry for the Inconvenience!

Dear Pet Lover,

Can only one experience ruin an entire brand?

The man behind me on the shuttle bus was tired, dirty, he had been visiting his son for a week in Oregon and hadn’t realized he would be roughing it in a tent.

Our conversation started as I boarded the bus, saying to the driver, “Wow, that was a long wait…”I had dropped off my rental and was heading back to an airport hotel to save me time the next morning for my 6 AM flight. “I’m glad I wasn’t in a hurry!” I smiled and felt thankful I had brought a book.

“I’m glad I wasn’t in a hurry!” I smiled and felt thankful I had brought a book.

“This wasn’t nearly as bad as the Quality Inn!” The man behind me said, “I waited OVER AN HOUR for their shuttle bus and I said to myself – I will NEVER stay at a Quality Inn again.”

I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to go there, though I realized too late that I had started it.

Wisdom, I’ve learned is keeping my thoughts and any frustrations I can’t control to myself. Obviously, this wisdom comes and goes….

“And here’s what they said about it, “I’m sorry for the inconvenience.” Can you believe it? An hour I waited and then I get a heartless, “I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”  I made a decision right then and there that I would never use that hotel again.”

I remained silent this time, the wisdom kicked in! I did note however that this business could use some clearer leadership and a brush up on customer service.

What if the person this man talked to had said instead, “How horrible for you! Can I provide you with some water or get you a coffee?”

Just a small little gesture of concern may have completely flipped this experience from a distasteful one, to one where he felt heard.

So, what do you say when someone is upset? How do you handle an irate customer? Do you apologize or do you listen and relate?

Most of us are doing the best we can, and when we’re in business, doing better than normal is how we succeed. Today, ask your team what they say when someone is displeased? Do they make excuses? Do they say, I’m sorry for the inconvenience? Or, there’s nothing I can do about that?

What if you and your team did it differently, better? Here’s how:

     1.  Listen – let the customer talk, lament, criticize.

      2. Relate to them – “That’s horrible” or “You certainly didn’t need that” or “How unfortunate.”

      3. Then ask them if they want the smallest thing – “Would you like to sit down? What can I bring you, some water, or coffee?” Or, “What can I do for you now? Or even something light-hearted, I bet you’d feel better if you could pet a dog!”

When you do these small things you can avoid a customer who remembers only the bad thing. And sometimes it’s the bad things and how we handle them that makes a more loyal fan.

Let me know how you handle these types of situations!

Blessings, Shawna

WIPIN is BEYOND thrilled that Barbara Zawlocki, the publisher, and editor of the hot, fashionable pet magazine to-die-for called LICK – has agreed to edit and take charge of this issue of WIPIN’s Spring 2017 Top Women in the Pet Industry magazine!

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When you buy a full page ad – you receive an additional full page profile (2 FULL PAGES in the WIPIN Spring edition!)

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