Watch your step, you could be next
“This site contains affiliate links read the disclosure for more information.”
You know, I pondered on this post for a while due to the impact that it could have on some individuals. Now, I’m not saying that it’s a good impact or a bad impact, but what I am going to do is leave that up to you to decide.
In this world, we have those who have a very large heart, caring, sympathetic, understanding, and affectionate, all wrapped into one. These types of people will bend over backwards to help you in need, they look at aspects in life within the black, white and the gray shaded area. Some will walk up and throw their arm around you and make you feel welcomed or hug you before you leave. Somehow, they just happen to know when you need that special hug to turn your feelings around in another direction.
Then you have those who are very cold hearted, uncaring to everyone but themselves, no sympathy towards anyone and the last thing they won’t do, is go up and hug their own mother. There’s no room for understanding, because everything is their way or the highway. When they speak, their harsh voice makes your hairs stand up on your arms like they did when you were scared as a child.
Every so often we come upon someone who is like that and we walk away with a large question mark on our mind. We wonder how anyone could be so cold and uncaring. Then you ask yourself, how did they get to this point.
If you are anything like me, the curiosity is making you wonder what happen to this person was it a bad childhood, loss of family member or just a plain old bad day. It’s not like I am going to ask them, but I do wonder at times.
Does it ever cross your mind when you stumble upon someone like that or do you just walk away and swear under you breathe?
As I sat one afternoon having coffee, with an old friend she explained to me, about what had been happening in her neck of the woods. I almost couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but then after careful listening and thinking about the story she shared. I thought this would make an excellent post for my blog. People need to hear this and maybe it will help those large-hearted, caring, sympathetic, understanding, affectionate people who I know.
Karen, the most affectionate individual I know, who works in a retail always greeted every customer as they came into the store. For the most part, the customers who were frequent shoppers she become to know quiet well and at times would joke around, visit with them and share stories.
On one afternoon, a customer whom she had seen many times, came into the store. Karen approached this individual and greeted them with the offering of the big discounts for the week, that they could save on certain purchases. While explaining them to the customer, she put her arm around the individuals back. Now, Karen didn’t mean anything by doing this and it was Karen just being Karen, the affectionate one. Not thinking that this action could cause a major problem for her, besides she done this with many of the customers.
Let me highlight the fact, that Karen never had any complaints made towards her for being affectionate towards customers nor any complaints about her customer service. On this occasion, there was a complaint and a complaint that would change Karen’s life and out look on how she saw people.
Later that afternoon, Karen was called to the office to meet with the manager. As Karen approached the office, she overheard her manager speaking with someone who was hollering thru the phone. Karen had no idea what was going on, she just knew that someone was not happy about something.
Two hours later Karen emerged from the office with a tear ridden face and a handful of Kleenex. Karen was terminated from her job that she had worked at for more than twelve years. Karen only had three more years to go until she could retire. She was terminated, due to sexual harassment by a customer.
The customer called and stated that Karen had approached them in an aisle and that Karen was coming on to this lady’s husband by putting her arm around him while explaining the discounts. The woman felt that Karen was unprofessional, in the way she handled the greeting and felt that Karen could have cared less if the wife was standing there or not, she stated Karen just kept talking only to her husband and acted as if she didn’t exist. The customer stated that if she was not let go, she would be going to the corporate office and would be bringing her attorney along.
In customer service you are regarded as a person with a service you are offering to the public, whether it be your own private company, or you are working for a company, you are still providing a service to that customer.
At times you must adjust your personality and behavior to meet the needs of the customer, to be successful in your job.
From the beginning to the end of the sale, you are to give that customer an outstanding experience. You are to represent the company you work for or the company you own, so that the customer patronizes the company in the future.
Being hired in a position of customer service you are required by employers to act and represent the company by their mission statement and accordingly by their policy of etiquette. By not following their provisions set forth, you risk the opportunity of being reprimanded or as in Karen’s situation terminated.
Gestures can be anything from a handshake, touch of the forearm, a nudge in the shoulder, arm around back, slipping your arm into theirs, a wink, tap on the knee, or even touching someone’s hair. It’s all a gesture, no matter how it’s done.
Sure, there is the thing we call intent, but intent or intended, does not hold up enough when being accused by another. It is all up to the person who feels they have been mistreated.
The WOW Factor
Today, everywhere you look and everything you read lately has this title of Sexual Harassment, and Misconduct, being attached to it.
The mounting fear is there for all of us regarding how people may perceive any small gesture or comment made.
I urge each and every one of you who are in customer service to stop and think about how your actions could cost you, your job.
I understand there are still some of us big-hearted, sympathetic, caring, understanding, affectionate people out there but you must be careful, it could get you into a lot of trouble, destroy your career and most of all, affect other aspects of your life.
Now. I am not saying that you should stop being sympathetic, understanding and affectionate, but what I am saying is you really must pay close attention to who you are doing this to. There are some of us who don’t mind when you walk up and put your arm around us and greet us.
There are some of us that do need an occasional hug from time to time. Then there are those that need to know that someone cares enough to listen and understand us. Just be sure to watch your step when you are providing that top-notch customer service.
Go Big Go Home Tomorrow is another day…