Every day, in businesses across the world, customer service staff, receptionists, waiters and waitresses, and countless others in service industries have to hear that painful, anger-ridden phrase: “I want to talk to the manager.”
What the customer is really saying when they spout out these words is, “You can’t help me. Go get me someone who can solve my problem.” This not only angers the customer, but it makes the staff member feel powerless. This is clearly a lose-lose situation.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
I want you to make it your personal mission to eradicate the “I want to talk to the manager” phrase in your business. This means you are going to have to make the following changes:
- Empower your front-line staff to solve customer problems. You must not only allow them to go above and beyond in helping customers, but praise them for this.
- Commit to providing top-notch customer service. Don’t settle for anything less. This means providing staff the tools, the training, and the vision to be great.
- Prepare to deal with the situation. Even if you take the first two steps, you will still need to prepare your staff and your manager to deal with that ugly statement. The manager that the customer speaks with, and it might be you, must support their staff to the hilt. If the customer service person can hear the conversation between the manager and the customer, all the better. Of course, the manager should acknowledge the customer’s problem as being valid and important, because it is, and do their best to solve it. But, by supporting their staff through these tense moments, it will engender even more confidence in the staff member for the next time the phrase makes an appearance.
By following these three steps, you are transforming a lose-lose situation into a win-win one. Your staff will feel better because they have the power to solve problems, your customers will be happier because their problems are getting resolved faster, and you’ll feel better because you’ve done your part in eradicating these uncomfortable “I want to talk to the manager” moments.
So the next time you aren’t getting the answers you need from a service person and request to talk to the manager don’t complain about the service. Instead, tell the manager the three steps they need to take so that they never have deal with the “I want to talk to the manager” situation again. Chances are that you’ll get the resolution you deserve, as well as a heartfelt “thank you” for your advice. If you don’t, just ask to speak with their manager.