Happy National Talk on the Elevator Day! A Customer Service Story


National Talk on the Elevator Day, Customer ServiceJuly 29th is national Talk on the Elevator Day. Have you ever been on an elevator and no one is looking at or talking with one another? You have that ackward time until you get off at your stop.

Well, there are many opportunities for successful communication on elevators. The following is a customer service story that will show you that there are opportunities for success on elevators:

When I was Vice President of Sales for a New York based computer services company, I walked by one of my salesperson’s desk when the phone began to ring and picked up the phone to answer the call.  It was one call that tested my customer service skills.

It was a call from a Senior Vice President for Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A.  She was not happy with the service our representative was giving her and said she was considering going to another vendor for her computer services.  I let her talk as she vented her anger.

I reintroduced myself and let her know that I would personally appreciate her sharing her customer service concerns with me.  I also let her know we valued her as a customer and wanted her business and that I would do whatever it took to make her happy with our company.  She then let me know that someone better “make her happy” by the end of the day or we could forget about doing business again with Chase Manhattan Bank.  I let her know I personally could see her in one hour, and she agreed to the meeting.

I put together the solution and took the #4 subway line to Wall Street to meet at her office.  As I waited in the lobby of her building for an elevator, five women gathered around me to also wait for the elevator.  The elevator arrived and we all walked into the elevator.  I took the initiative and greeted the group of women and commented on the weather.  This opened up the conversation between all of us and soon, with additional exchanges, we were laughing about our day.

I left the elevator, and one of the women also got off on the same floor.  I asked her where the Senior Vice President’s office was located, and she said she would be glad to take me to the office.  We continued our engaging conversation along the way and, before I knew it, we were at the Senior Vice President’s office door.

I was about to thank the woman for escorting me, when she walked around and behind the Senior Vice President’s desk and announced that she was Senior Vice President and how could she help me.  Let’s say I was surprised.  I introduced myself, we both paused for a moment, and then we both laughed.

To say the least, we had a very productive meeting, which led to a great customer relation with Chase Manhattan Bank and her for many years and with the bank even beyond her retirement.  She was so impressed with her positive experience that day that she became my biggest advocate to other senior management within the bank, which led to new customers and millions in additional business.

What, then, are the secrets to customer retention and winning back an angry customer so that the situation becomes an outstanding customer service experience?

The following are six customer service secrets for winning back customers, increasing customer satisfaction, and increasing your bottom line:

  1. Start with a Positive Attitude – Look at any customer service situation as a challenge and an opportunity to learn and grow, and take care of the customer’s needs.  Start with a positive attitude that says, “I want to help you and, together, we will find a solution.” I always say, “You never know who is watching you, so always give them your best face.”  Because I had a positive attitude in the above situation, I put on my best face when interacting with the women in the elevator, and this led to a positive impression of me with the senior vice president.”  (Read the rest of the article at Customer Service)
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