Policy is poison
One of the most deadly phrases muttered in business is “sorry, but this is our policy”. This word should be banned from using in any customer interaction. How would you like hearing that nothing will be done because of some protection mechanism that organizations come up with summed up under the term policy?
It does not help you or the organization. It is a stalemate position that frustrates everyone involved and leads to a decline in loyal customers. Remember, loyalty stays and satisfaction is only a momentary thing.
Whether you are a business owner/ leader or a customer service rep/ someone in contact with customers avoid muttering this word. You may follow the internal policy structure, but you need to address dealing with the outcome and how the customer perceives it differently. All you need is a little creativity:
- “I will not be able to do that, but you are in luck I can do this, this….., or this….”. Think about possible options beforehand.
- “Your request sounds interesting. Normally our basic procedure would be x, but I think I can this, this….., or this….”.
- “Wow, that sounds indeed bad. Let me see what kind of options we may be able to come up with to remedy this situation.”
- “This is unfortunately out of warranty for two weeks, but I can do this, this….., or this….”.
- “Sorry I cannot check you in right now, but here is what I can do instead.”
- “Wow, that is quite a price reduction / discount you want. I would not be able to do that but I can do this x for you.”
Coming up with the options beforehand is the most important thing to do. Remember though that this is not a bogus deflection or deference measure just to get the interaction over with. You will need a viable and sincerely meant option that you will have the authority to push through. Any business leader who is interested in long term sustainability and increasing loyal customer traffic will either have such an option plan in the works. Or you can develop such a list and boost your position at work, still make the customer’s day and lead to more business for the place you work. That is what I call a triple bottom line win-win-win and shaking up the snow globe.