Back in March, I wrote about a bad experience I had at a Carl's Junior. I later learned that the problem wasn't that the people at the restaurant were being rude, but that CJs had a certain policy that the restaurant managers were going by. Rather than just outright demanding I return the food when it was their fault their ATM machine was not working and they hadn't warned me, they should have told me the corporate Carl's Junior policy. Then, I would have been fine with what was happening and taken my concerns to the corporate offices, rather than yelling at the nice people at the restaurant.Lesson #1. When a customer complains, apologize, but make your policies clear.Lesson #2. When making your policies, do your best to be reasonable. It will avoid a lot of problems and a lot of complaining customers.
I thought about this more after a recent interview I had for a position at a local theater. My interviewers asked me what I would do if a customer at the box office was complaining or asked for something I couldn't give them. I replied that I would stay calm, say what I could, and bring in my supervisor as a last resort, if it came to that. Upon further consideration, I realized how important it would be in a situation like this to make the theater's policies clear. For example, if it was concern over a ticket, I would tell the customer the policy and point out that it was made clear on the theater's website and when the patron bought his tickets.
Of course, some companies just don't think when they create their policies. So, once again, the two lessons here are:
1) When a customer complains, apologize, but make your policies clear.2) When making your policies, do your best to be reasonable. It will avoid a lot of problems and a lot of complaining customers.