If I Want to Help You Dear Customer, I Won’t Start With No Can Do

As an employee, the first commitment to the clients (internal and external) is to help – to have a can do attitude. This is the main reason I am there: to help you get what you need and get paid for it.

can do

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Last week I stopped at a gas station, and coming somewhere from behind the car, I heard the sweetest and smoothest voice ever:

– Daddy, daddy, get me some ice-cream, please!

– Sure thing, pumpkin!

After filling the tank, I went in to pay and see a line with “Inventory”, just like the duct tape surrounding a crime scene. I paid for the gas and asked the young lady at the counter if I can buy an ice-cream cone. I explained that I know it’s Inventory time, but wanted to make her understand who is the ice-cream beneficiary/end user.

Initial response: NO

– Miss, let me explain again, I see we don’t understand each other… in the car, there’s a little girl who wishes so bad this amazing ice-cream you have like no other (product appraisal works well most of the time). I think it is possible for you to work something out if you wish.

Final answer: NO CAN DO!

Well, I don’t usually (or at least not often) ask to talk to the manager when I feel this type of attitude, the product or the smell doesn’t feel right and I know I am right, but this time I did it.

The manager showed up, though I couldn’t say if it was the one serving that station of the manager of all inventories, it blew my mind from the start:

– Hello, how may I help (with a big smile on his face)!

I told him again the episode from Child NO Empathy NO Ice-cream NO CAN DO series, adding that some good will might solve the situation. I mentioned I’d pay cash, he can make a note of the down payment, given the fact that it was a bulk product, no need to scan it and taken out of inventory, etc. Finally, I added that he’s welcomed to come to the car and explain to a 6-year-old the inventory procedures – this is a common blocking technique.

– Sure we can do this for a child! was his immediate response.

Of course, I could have told my girl that they were out of ice-cream, this actually happened in the past (I told you it’s really good), but this wasn’t the problem, but the wish to do good if you want to.

This is for all the people who have customers, please don’t say “Can’t” from the start, without first checking you did everything humanly possible to reach an “I will check and I am sure we can find a solution!”

„The customer doesn’t expect everything will go right all the time; the big test is what you do when things go wrong.” Sir Colin Marshall

Yes, I am aware, there are policies and procedures, I am actually a big fan of these, but this doesn’t mean that if you can do something out of the ordinary, with an obvious benefit for your customer, within the legal limits, you should stop.

Many times, your managers are not so stuck up and can offer some help (if they want), this is the reason they manage. The empathy towards the customer is something that should become a reflex gesture.

Your role as an employee is to have a supportive attitude and solve the customer’s’ requests, even though it doesn’t fit the rigid organization framework. This thing also applies to internal customers.

You are not allowed to say NO CAN DO before the “victim” finishes the question.

Good luck serving well!

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