Posted on 14 Jun 06
The following is an article from Emily Hulings Selling Strategies Inc. monthly newsletter:
During a recent visit to a client's office, I was standing outside of a customer service associate's cubicle, out of sight, ready for our meeting. She was just finishing a telephone call. When she hung up from the call, she said to no one in particular, "What a jerk! That customer is the biggest pain in the rear." I peered around the corner. "Oh, hi Emily! Is it our meeting time?" We headed down the hall to a small conference room.
Kelly and I were to discuss the progress she was making in her new position. She told me all was going great, which is what I had learned from her supervisor. I couldn't resist asking her about the customer she had just spoken with.
She told me George was a long-time client, who frequently called with questions. I delved a little deeper and learned George is a small business owner who juggles many plates. He has grown to rely on Kelly for answers. Kelly said that his questions are legitimate, but thinks he should research the answers himself. She has sent him the necessary information to do that. Other than that, George was a good, profitable client for her company.
I couldn't resist saying, "So you're complaining that you do a good job for George, which is why he's calling you, and that's annoying to you? That's like saying this is a nice place to work except for all the clients I have to work with!" I wondered, did Kelly realize what she was saying?
Kelly justified herself by telling me that she's certain George has no idea how she feels. She says even with her "closet" attitude, George always gets courteous and prompt service.
While I'm skeptical on that point, I decided not to press it. Instead I asked her how she thought her loud verbal statement after the call (calling George a jerk) reflected on her. "What do you mean reflects on me?" she asked. I said, "How do your coworkers view you after hearing your unprofessional comments about a client?" That got her attention and we talked for quite awhile about professional behavior.
Moral to the story: Everything we do creates an impression. It's up to us to decide if we want people to have a bad or good impression. Mind your actions and behavior even when you think no one is paying attention.
For more information about the services and products provided by Emily, through Selling Strategies, Inc., visit her website at http://www.sellingstrategies.com.