“FINE” is a Dangerous Word in Customer Service

Posted: May 8, 2011 | Posted by Sandie Marinoble | No Comments

Have you ever had good food at a restaurant but the customer service was terrible? Then, as you are walking out the door, the manager asks, “Did you enjoy your meal?”

Are you truthful or do you just want to leave and not look back? Most often we say nothing for several reasons.

  1.  We don’t want to complain
  2.  No one is going to listen
  3.  We feel nothing will change anyway

After all, you won’t be going back so what does it matter? It does matter. Actually, you are doing the restaurant a severe injustice by not talking about your negative experience to the manager.

Do not be satisfied when you hear the word, “fine” because 65-85% of satisfied customers actually switch to the competition. It means the quality of service you are providing is either average or below average and your customers are on the fence. In other words, they are not loyal and will go elsewhere in a heartbeat. Satisfied customers are neutral and ready to bail. That is as clear as we can be.

Superior Customer Service should always be your goal!

Here’s what could happen to that restaurant:

Almost immediately you start to tell everyone about the inadequate customer service experience you had with the restaurant.

Time goes on and you start to see a continual decline in the number of cars in their parking lot. No surprise here, is there? More time goes by and now there is a sign on the front door that says “CLOSED.” You say to yourself . . . I guess nobody liked their service either!

That’s a classic example of how customer service can impact a business. It can not only shut a business down, this restaurant left with a bad reputation.

So what should you do to avoid hearing this dangerous word? Pay close attention to the quality of service you are providing and listen to your customers! Don’t give them a reason to say “FINE!”

Fresh Tips & Bold Ideas

In the world of sales, none of us want to hear the words, “No, Not now, Not ever, It will never happen, I’m outta here,” etc. You get the point, no sales here.

In the world of Customer Service (and yes, we are all included), there is truly just one word that should raise some eyebrows and a red flag when spoken by your customer.

It is a word that many businesses hear all the time and they think it’s OK. It’s a word that clearly defines, from your customers standpoint, their interaction with you. When spoken from the customer, employees will take this word as a positive affirmation, it’s not. The most dangerous word is “FINE.”

Strive to get a better than “satisfactory or meets expectations” when asking your customers or in your surveys. Aim higher and set yourself apart from everyone else.

Here’s What We Suggest:

  • Employees must have the desire, discipline, and a positive attitude to work with customers.
  • Continually look for ways to surprise and delight your customers. Don’t just meet, exceed their expectations.
  • When complaints are heard, handle them sincerely, fix quickly and keep them fixed!
  • When “fine” comes up, ask your customer for more details on their customer service experience. Then train, train and train some more and turn “FINE into TREMENDOUS!”



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