Business Times Column

by Marcus

Don’t Allow Personal Issues to Negatively Affect Customers

Have you ever had the unsavory experience of being treated poorly during the course of a business transaction, due to no action on your part? How did it make you feel? Did you receive the value you were looking for? Did the experience interrupt the pleasant flow of your day? Were you inclined to never do business with that person or company again?

When any company representative transfers their own personal issues onto a customer, it creates dissatisfaction and doubt in the heart and mind of this customer. For any business owner who desires to be successful, this is the exact opposite of what you want to impart to your clientele.

There is a tremendous amount of cross-over between the personal and professional lives of people. Frequently, a great amount of time and energy is spent on the job re-hashing, both mentally and verbally, the unresolved and troubling personal challenges they face. More often than you might realize, this situation leads to a negative business environment, lost productivity and unfavorable interactions with customers. What business can afford to lose customers and revenues to behaviors that have no place in a top notch company?

Awareness of this issue is important. Whether it is the owner, manager or any other team member, people have the tendency to get “wrapped up” in their own personal issues, issues that have nothing to do with fellow team members and customers. When this happens, they become self-consumed and are blind to the reality of doing business, which has everything to do with taking care of others. Whenever personal baggage is brought into the business environment, customer interactions are never good and no one wins.

As a rule, rather than spending your day consumed by anything that may have happened outside of work, choose to use your time at your place of business as a much needed break from what is bothering you. Since you truly can’t do anything about your situation while on the clock, choose to bring your best to work and then deal with personal matters during lunch or at the end of the day.

The secret in creating a win-win situation here is to be able to shift gears. The issues people carry with them are the result of things that happened in the past, while each new customer service experience is a present moment reality. It is imperative that all team members be coached on developing skills that allow them to shift out of “what was then” in order to effectively deal with “what is now”. By choosing to do so, each customer will receive quality service without the negativity of a previous and unrelated event.

Being self-aware and able to consciously direct one’s self in the most constructive direction possible during each individual customer interaction is a learned skill. When the team members of a business are taught to be present, not take things personally, remain composed, care deeply and treat others as they would want to be treated, their ability to provide exceptional customer service increases exponentially.

Investing in high quality, on-going customer service training will position your entire team to be their best in meeting, and even exceeding, the wants and needs of your very important customers. Just as there is a great deal of coaching and training that goes into becoming a top notch athlete, the same is true for becoming a top notch company.

When team members become aware of their mindset, behaviors and the outcomes that they are creating, and when they understand how to do things differently to produce better results, customer service rapidly improves. And, as the service your customers receive rises to new levels in quality, greater customer satisfaction, increased referrals, improved business practices and higher revenues follow. This is a win-win situation!

When you choose to invest in your team’s development – in their ability to provide the exceptional customer service experience – your ROI in all forms will surprise you. Just one negative customer interaction, at the hands of a negative team member bringing their personal issues to bear on a customer, will have a ripple effect that will cost your greatly.

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This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper.


Marcus Straub

Author Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub is Founder and CEO of Life Is Great!™ (LIG) Coaching and Consulting, Inc. based in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Serving individuals of all ages and companies of all sizes, in locations across the country and around the world, Marcus specializes in the development of customized programs tailored to meet the unique goals of each individual client. Purposefully created to guide those involved toward unprecedented personal, professional, and organizational growth, Marcus has become well-known for his straightforward approach and systematic techniques.