Last week I went to a local pharmacy to have a prescription filled. As I approached the prescription counter I noticed a sign beside the cash register that said, ” Let’s Talk.” Considering it an invitation I said in a friendly, cheery voice, ” OK let’s talk.” and proceeded to say ” How are you today?” The woman waiting on me was not amused. She looked at me in frigid, non-responsive silence and finally said cooly, ” Can I help you?”
It didn’t take a degree in nuclear physics to figure out that she was totally ignoring my humble attempt to be friendly so I too immediately responded to her icy tone with one of my own. I gave her the information regarding my prescription and was told curtly that I was at the wrong counter. I was at the “PRESCRIPTION OUT” counter when I should be at the
” PRESCRIPTION IN ” counter. How silly of me to make such a mistake. Maybe that’s why she was so unfriendly to me. I had committed a huge unforgivable sin in Pharmacy Land.
As I approached the proper counter I once again saw the sign, ” Let’s Talk.” and decided to give the place a second chance. I looked at the lady waiting on me and said once again in an upbeat and friendly tone, ” The other woman who waited on me wasn’t really in the mood to talk so I came down here. So “Let’s talk.”
Again stone cold, icy silence followed by ” Can I help you?” If you can’t beat them, join them so I too became cool, abrupt, assertive and said, ” Mike Moore/ Doctor Quinn/ asthma medication/ repeat required please. She checked the computer and found that I did have 4 repeats left. I told her that I would be in at 10:00 a.m. the next day to pick it up and I left. I know I shouldn’t have responded in kind but I was ticked off at the way a paying customer was being treated.
I wanted to hand the woman my card and tell her that I spoke to companies and organizations on customer relations and would be more that happy to conduct a seminar for their employees on the topic. But I didn’t.
I’m not saying that dealing with the public is easy. It isn’t. In fact it can be very stressful but you can neutralize the stress with a simple smile and a bit of humor. All these people needed to do when I responded to their invitation to talk was smile and say in a friendly tone, “OK. Let’s talk. What can I do for you?”
Simple, easy, effective and it leaves your customer wanting to return to do business with you. Isn’t that what customer service is all about?