Are you troubleshooting with your team?
You can’t assume they know how to handle every scenario. It is important to give them the tools when presented with an obstacle, to help them succeed. It’s never comfortable when something goes wrong. By working with them to understand the power of customer service, they will be empowered to take the wheel. Basic manners and empathy can go a long way when faced with a problem.
Indulge me for a moment.
One morning I stopped at my usual coffee drive-through. I was having a great day. Very excited about my coffee! As the team member handed me my coffee, the lid popped off. Hot coffee spilling all over my hand. Total accident.
“That’s hot!” I said.
She responded, “yes it is.”
Took the cup and put it down. I was shaking the mess off my hand.
She was frozen.
I looked up and said, “do you have a towel or something.”
She grabbed some napkins and handed them to me. She disappeared.
I cleaned off my hands and the counter outside the window.
She return, handed me my coffee, and said “have a nice day.”
As if nothing had happened.
I was shocked. I said thank you and drove away.
As I was driving, I couldn’t believe the lack of manners. This is something that could have escalated with someone else.
I wasn’t upset. She didn’t intentionally burn me.
It made me think of my own team. I used this as a teachable moment with them.
Anytime someone is visibly hurt, upset, or uncomfortable a simple, “are you ok I’m sorry, let me help you, would be appropriate.
My team was in complete agreement. They may not always know exactly how to proceed, but that would be a good start. It made me realize their team’s leadership has not prepared them for possible problems.
Remember to not assume everyone knows the right thing to do. I provide scripts and problem solutions sheets for my team. We roll play scenarios to allow them to feel like the client and the team member. This empowers them to handle anything that comes their way.
We also have one rule. Never leave your team in the cold. Meaning if they are in trouble come to their rescue.
Another thing I didn’t see from the coffee shop. Her team members clearly saw what happened, but none of them stepped in to help her.
Something will come up that has never happened before. Preparing your team to be empathic will go a long way for them and your company.