Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday...Bring It On!!

Yesterday on FaceBook I sent out a request for suggestions about how to deal with poor customer service when shopping during the holidays. I asked that folks understand that during the holidays we’re in a hurry and stressed. Here are the Top Ten best tips:

1.     Is it you? If you’re already in a stressed or angry mood—for whatever reason—you’re more likely to let a service glitch crank you up. So, check yourself first.

2.     Be Nice. Lots of folks offered this. Service people run into so many folks who are suffering from #1 so you being nice is a breath of fresh air for them.

3.     Be Nice #2. Thank’em First. Start off the encounter by smiling and thanking them for their help. This unexpected bit of Southern Charm, as Katherine Culbreth Martin calls it, sets a positive mood and leads to…

4.     You Be the Powerful One. Donnie Douglas says that allowing another person’s service to affect your mood/experience/day is surrendering a lot of power. You’re the one with the power. However, forget the one-upsmanship game. That’s not about power, that’s about ego and ego doesn’t get the job done.

5.     Ask for the Manager. A number of folks suggested this. It works if the manager can get to you quickly and make a decision. If not…

6.     Forget the Manager and Move On. You don’t have time for a United Nations discussion. Complaining on the spot makes things worse and you really won’t feel better. The Christmas shopping experience is all about what happens in that moment. Move on. Go somewhere else…even if it’s to another employee in the same department.

7.     The Waiting Game. If you are too busy or lazy or uncoordinated to wrap your own presents you’ll be waiting. Russ Seagle suggested stashing a book in your pocket or purse to give you something to do during the wait.

8.     Make a List and Check it Twice. Don’t be too picky. No matter what you might believe there is rarely ONE PERFECT PRESENT for the 20 percent of your list that really matters. Have a couple of options for your important people. Not being able to find that one perfect present cranks your stress level higher. For the 80 percent for whom you need to buy SOMETHING go with a generic gift (candy, book, gift card) that’s easy to find and buy a bunch of them.

9.     Give Yourself Rewards. Tell yourself that after this stop you’ll have a cup of coffee and a doughnut, a beer, do something fun, sit down and rest…whatever seems positive. Too often, shopping turns into some kind of Bataan Deathmarch. Break the experience up into short missions.

10.  Here’s the best one…as you’re talking to the person who is being difficult visualize the phrase “POOPY PANTS” tattooed on their forehead. The tactic will make you smile, give you a feeling of power, they’ll wonder what you’re smiling about and it makes the experience much more positive. But remember, don’t YOU act in a manner such that the service person is seeing “POOPY PANTS” on YOUR forehead.

Happy Shopping!

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