4.29.2006

Have a Seat

A small but significant pet peeve: when a receptionist (without smiling) tells me to "have a seat." I was at a firm a couple of weeks back and this is how I was, um, welcomed.

Like I'm back in elementary school and the teacher's in charge. OK, maybe I'm just being too sensitive, but how about "please make yourself comfortable" or something (anything) that isn't an authoritative command. Excuse me, but I don't work for you, you are not my superior and your role is to provide service and make me feel welcome in your office.

Yes, I realize, "have a seat" is part of the lexicon. But it hits me wrong.

With the effort that firms/businesses put into a client service program, the key to a positive client experience could all comes down to something as simple as a smile and a genuine "how may I help you?" or "hello, welcome to the firm - we're expecting you and your host will be with you in a moment."

"Have a seat" just doesn't cut it, folks.

Receptionists, you are the Directors of First Impressions. Please, make your visitors feel warmly welcomed and you will be a very valuable member of the client team.

4.12.2006

Looking for Mrs. Lavoy

Thanks to a certain Mrs. Lavoy, I recently had an absolutely horrendous "customer service" experience with Continental. It came close to outweighing all the wonderful interactions I've had with that company as a long time OnePass member. It's been a couple of weeks and I am still upset, which just goes to show that what they say about a dissatisfied customer telling others about their experience is true.

Mrs. Lavoy is a "customer service manager;" a title that represents a gross travesty (a fact of which I informed her). How she got that title is beyond me, for she exhibited an appalling lack of experience, skills or talent in that area. She not only cared less about helping me solve a problem, she essentially told me I created it, I was lucky to have received the help I had been given so far, that a coworker of hers had done something incorrectly and that since that coworker had created the problem, I could very well go back to her to get it fixed.

She actually yelled at me.

She yelled!

So, too bad for the family and me - Mrs. Lavoy could not have cared less that she was screwing up our school vacation to Washington, DC.

Expect more on Mrs. Lavoy, for she is going to become the central figure in some rants about SERVICE. But for now, think about this: you might have a Mrs. Lavoy in your own business. Do you know who that person is? How will you find out? And, most important, WHAT WILL YOU DO about Mrs. Lavoy?

Better go looking for Mrs. Lavoy. Because Mrs. Lavoy is definitely NOT looking out for your customers.