When are people going to understand that customers don't care about your problems? That's right. I'm not spending my money to hear about your problems nor do I appreciate it when you yell at one of your employees in front of me.
I've had three such experiences this week. Let's begin with my trip to the nail salon. I thought I'd kick back a few hours early on Friday and treat myself to a relaxing pedicure. All was going well until the owner came over and started yelling at the technician because she honored my wish of trying several different colors. I didn't have to speak Vietnamese to understand the owner was coming down heavy on this women. I felt the need to throw myself in front of the technician and guard her honor. So much for a relaxing experience.
Then there was the massage I tried to arrange for my birthday. You would think in this economy (or any economy) people would return phone calls. When I called on Friday for an appointment, I was told someone would call me back to let me know if they could see me on Sunday. I waited until 4PM on Saturday and then decided to call to see if I had the appointment. Hello people...why am I doing your job? You should do what you say you are going to do and call your customers back.
As if that wasn't bad enough, my lovely husband presented me with a bouquet of roses that looked like they had been in the cooler since the day I was born. I asked myself, why would a business owner even sell roses that were dead upon arrival. My sister, who is a florist in another city, urged me to call the store to tell them about my disappointment. I hemmed and hawed and finally I relented. I now have a store credit. But first I had to hear about what a lousy Saturday it was for the store and how lot's of things didn't work out. Quite frankly, I could care less. It was my birthday and yes, it was all about me. I now have to keep these wilted flowers in my dining room so that my husband doesn't think I've gone completely over the edge. Lovely reminder of the bad day my local florist had.
I hear all the time how the big bad large businesses are taking out the small business owner. Frankly, some of them deserve to go if this is any indication of how they treat their best customers. It's time to wake up and realize that customers don't give a darn what kind of day you are having. It's really all about them and if it isn't, then perhaps you should reconsider if having a business is really for you.
Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Human Resource Solutions
Author of the forthcoming book, Suddenly in Charge! Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, January 2011)
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