What can kids help us understand about the mind of a customer?
It would sound condescending to compare your customers to preschoolers … but in some ways, that is the relationship you have with them! It’s your job to guide them and educate them and to help them problem solve and grow. Although your customers are likely smart and capable individuals, you’re the person who needs to hold their hand in some ways and help them see the bigger picture of why your product or service can help improve their lives. In that same vein, there are a few lessons preschoolers can help us to understand about the mind of a customer and how to best perform high-quality customer service. Here are four things we often tell preschoolers that we need to remember when dealing with customers.
- When you’re angry, use your words. You know how when little kids get mad, they can overreact, yell, or act irrational? Well, that isn’t something every single person grows out of! If your customer loses his or her temper with you, remember that sometimes anger can blind us and cause us not to act rationally. Remind him or her that the more specific he or she can be about what’s happened, the more likely it is that you can actually help.
- You can’t always get what you want. We’ve all encountered the “gimme, gimme, gimme” customers who aren’t going to be happy unless they get every single thing you have to offer—and at a steep discount. It’s perfectly OK to provide some wiggle room on prices or services but don’t feel as if you must give every single customer exactly he or she wants. Every business transaction should feel like a win for both of you.
- Have patience. Customers tend to want things, understandably, incredibly quickly. You may need to gently remind the customer that there are processes in place, and you can’t necessarily get them a replacement item the next day. Do your best to appease them, but trust that customers will have patience with you and know that the ones who don’t are apparently learning this lesson pretty late in life. At the same time, make sure you’re going as quickly as you can while still being attentive—if you’ve ever taken 2-year-olds somewhere, you know they get bored fast and can’t wait very long!
- Don’t forget to say thank you. This one is on us—it’s important not to forget to demonstrate gratitude at the end of every interaction. A simple thank you can go a long way!