I was having a bad day.
We all know has that goes,… you feel like your day was a tug-0-war competition with difficult people. You feel beat down.
A part of you wants to let go of the rope. You want to start arguing and fighting. You just want your way.
My day started badly when I dealt with a Gollum.
It was my first phone call of the day.
It was as small and ridiculous, as having to change an appointment time and a small freelance business not wanting to honor a gift certificate for a facial that I won from a charity event. The call was quickly becoming stressful for me. The business owner was being unprofessional, making rescheduling difficult and on her own time and convenience, but what she was offering were only weekday appointments at 1-2pm. She was booked on Saturdays for 6 months, yet when I said I’d wait, she changed the subject.
What was coming through from her words and responses, was that she had donated gift certificates to a charity function and was feeling like it was not paying off in providing her with good paying customers. She was starting to feel like her efforts were losses and she was treating me like one. Basically, she wasn’t treating me like her business baggage.
Well, you know what? Although I’m a holding a gift certificate for a free session, I am a potential customer and I do occasionally splurge on facials if I like the treatment. Whether I like the service will either, be a referral or (in this case) an anti-referral. Also, what the business owner didn’t know is that I occasionally write reviews of businesses I like. I was going to try this businesses out and do a review on them. I imagined it would be a good view. Until now.
My interactiong with the owner was stressful and rather offensive. It set me off in a bad mood and set up a set off a chain of challenging interactions. In a 2 hour span, it created what looked like a bad day.
But then hold on…
Superman coming in to save the day
“Yes, we can.”
“Sure, not a problem. I can easily refund you that. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“Well, let’s look into it and I’ll see if I can’t find a better solution for you.”
Yes, I was now dealing with a much larger, corporate business and although I had a enemy list of real problems, the customer representative acted like my Superwoman, killing them off happily, one by one in lightning speed.
While those lines sound pre-recorded, as a customer, it still felt good to hear. It felt reassuring, confident,.. like she was on my side, actively troubleshooting and looking for a way to solve my problem and make, not my day or issue better,… but “my life” better.
Small Freelance Businesses vs. Big Boy Companies: Are you the Superman for your Customer or a Gollum?
As a customer, the small freelance business, left me with the feeling of a victim thinking, ” Why does my life feel like such a battle or uphill climb?”
But with the second business, made me feel like a winner feeling like, “Life can be easy, businesses can be good and things can work out.”
Drastic difference in approach and mentality.
You may think that corporate businesses can afford to offer good customer service, when they have so many customers to begin with. But they had to start from somewhere and where they started was with “the successful Superman formula”. The formula is basically, to tend to customers and their needs, unconditionally… to be their Superman.
- What can I do for YOU?
- Let’s see if we can find a better solution…for YOU.
People like to be served and will patron businesses, which serve their wants and needs the best. Many, ideally want a Superman, who can tackle and win any battle they have. They want to know they have an ally to make their life a successful one.
The freelance business had the poor man’s mentality that good customer service is the reward only after doing business with them. It operated like a victim, that’s being personally cheated and waiting for you, the customer, to prove yourself otherwise.
- What can you do for Me?
That mentality of “I’ll treat you good, if you treat me good” is a very brattish, “conditional” and Gollum-like approach. Any thing that’s offered, even as gifts, come with strings attached.
Would you want to patronize a business that operates like that? Would you want to work with a Gollum business, that’s pulling at your purse and spitting in your face at the same time?
My guess is not.
Success and Failure are both, contagious diseases
As small business owners, it’s easy to fall into the hole of thinking like victims, expecting our clients and customers to be Superman.
We’re only doing a detriment to our business and customers. If failure is the underlining to your approach then wake up! You’re turning into a Gollum and you’ll scare off your customers.
People try to avoid failure at all costs, but they’ll flock to success. They’ll flock to confident, secure businesses with ‘can do’ Supermen attitudes.
Look at how you’re approaching your business and potential customers/clients.
Are you being a Gollum or a Superman? Are you weaving success into your business or failure?