Your customers can be on overload. It’s easy for them to get overwhelmed with choices and technology or to get confused with the jargon. Sometimes they ask questions that on the surface seem silly. For example the second most frequently asked question of frontline cast members at Walt Disney World is “what time is the 3:00 parade? Employees can respond in a sarcastic and condescending way or can listen for the need behind the question, empathize, and answer in way that preserves the customer’s dignity.
What are some of your funny customer questions? Here’s a couple I’ve heard from different businesses: How can I get money out? – at bank. How much do I save with the two for one special? – at grocery store.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Reply in their language, not jargon. Empathize when they don’t see the sign right in front of them or ask those bizarre questions. And when we as employees empathize, our demeanor brightens and we want to help. Our jobs feel important. Most essential of all, we never ever need to make a customer feel stupid.
Seven Points for Managers to Review with Employees
1. What are the most common bizarre questions that are asked in your organization?
2. What’s the question behind the questions from #1.
3. How are employees trained to answer these questions and handle these customer emotions and behaviors?
4. How can you stay fresh and see and hear like your customers?
5. What are the ways you can reinforce with your employees the importance of looking through the lens of the customer?
6. What are ways you can treat customers who are wrong, with dignity?
7. What jargon or internal speak should not be spoken in front of customers?