Customer service tip: Don’t insult your customers

Don’t insult your customers.

I know this sounds pretty obvious. Why would any of us insult our customers on purpose? But it happens more than we realize.

Here’s a recent example.

I’m ordering a sandwich at my favorite sub shop. As I’m chatting with the sub-maker, the co-owner walks over. She notices that I’ve had the roast beef in my sandwich cooked so it’s brown, not pink (just how I like it). Her face gets a pained look and she says:

“Oh, that hurts”.

Then she went on to explain how she prefers her roast beef rare.

I ignored her. (Hunger is good for that.) But I found myself wondering if she realized she just insulted me.

Probably not.

She was totally focused on what she thought. And, apparently, she thought I would be interested in knowing how my sandwich offended her good taste.

What she forgot is that I was not there to hear how she liked her roast beef cooked. I was there to get a sandwich the way I want it. Her opinion shouldn’t even have entered the conversation unless I asked her what she thinks.

Even then she shouldn’t tell a customer what they just did “pains her”. Might as well tell your customers they have bad taste. Or they’re just plain stupid.

If you disagree with what a customer is doing, keep it to yourself (unless you’re giving them professional or technical advice). Remember, you’re not there to talk about your likes and dislikes. And you’re certainly not there to insult your customer.

Your job is to help your customers accomplish what they want.

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz