Are your moody staff driving customers away?

By Tayo Leigh

 20 Sep 2015     Comments

From the first phone call to their first meeting at your office, your customers notice everything.

The abrupt greeting when they called, the receptionist who continued chatting when they arrived, not being offered a drink until the boss asks why. It all adds up to an impression of your company.

Clients will appreciate if someone is stressed, it happens to everyone, but if they are moody they will ask themselves ‘why does their boss tolerate this’?

Losing business

The more bad examples of Customer Service they see, the less likely they are to choose you over another supplier. They don’t want to work with moody staff, they don’t want to leave a message that never gets passed on, and they certainly don’t want to spend time in meetings with people who interrupt them, stare at their phone, or heaven forbid start a sentence with ‘no, you’re wrong’, rather than ‘I understand why you might think that, but I have to disagree.’

So what to do?

Now ideally you would just say to the people in question ‘your attitude is costing me business, change it’ and that would be that. But how many times have you a) seen this happen b) seen it work?

Instead, you must take steps to ensure everyone knows what is expected, and give yourself a way of changing, or removing the problem.

  1. Acknowledge there may be a problem (even if you don’t see it, ask your staff, they will tell you).

  2. Address the importance of good Customer Service with the team (via a meeting or an email).

  3. Establish standard responses - Protocols for when clients phone or visit (like ensuring they are greeted, made comfortable, offered a drink and the hierarchy of who must do this).

  4. Ask your clients if it happened (they may be too polite to say, but it shows you care).

  5. Check with staff it is happening (if they’re trying, they will resent those who aren’t).

Once it becomes clear who isn’t pulling their weight, then you will have grounds on which to address your moody staff member and address it in their performance review. They will challenge it, but it’s your business and you have made it clear what is expected.

Staff should be able to regulate themselves, but when you have a moody staff member and the boss does nothing about it, customers ask themselves why?

Don’t let them scare away your customers!


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