Client at shop paying at cash register with saleswomanIf you’re in a customer service career, you already understand that your positive interactions can help control a situation. But have you ever considered the same when you’re the customer?

It’s not likely you’ve ever gone out shopping and thought, “Well I had better use my best customer service skills today while buying these shoes”.  It’s funny how a simple twist in words can change the entire story.

Think about a time when you were extremely agitated with a service provider. How did you respond and, in return, how did they respond? Did you tell them exactly what you were thinking or did you try to put yourself in their shoes and be understanding? Regardless of which action you chose, the attitude and demeanor with which you respond will likely be reflected back to you.

Here’s a perfect example of this from last holiday season. A colleague of mine mentioned how she had ordered a gift for her husband – a t-shirt of his favorite band. Weeks had gone by and the gift hadn’t arrived, despite having requested the expedited shipping. When she inquired via e-mail she was told they had found the misplaced order, but that it may not arrive in time. She responded graciously, thanking them for responding and raved on and on about how much her husband loved the band. When the package arrived (before Christmas) inside the box was not only the t-shirt but also two additional t-shirts of different styles, a DVD, and an autographed photo from the band members. How awesome is that? She chose to reflect a positive attitude and in return the company did times ten.

As we all head into the hustle and bustle of back-to-school shopping let us take time to reflect on our service, not only as a provider but as a customer as well. See how your choice in behavior can affect the outcome of your shopping experiences. Share your positive customer service experiences with us in the comments!

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