Communication and Professionalism & Dealing with Prohibited Activity
In sales and managing employments, the most vital and effective component in a worker is the way he communicates with the people. However, the newer employees in the sales department are not completely aware of the appropriate way of dealing with the customers. It is normal as of course, everything comes with the passage of time, but one can always stay ahead with more knowledge. The manner of interaction, the timings in the Q/A can be learned by just reading! This article will state and explain some basic ways to deal with a customer who has performed an action which is forbidden in the rule book of the place e.g. a restaurant. For instance, a customer smokes in a "no smoking" area, how can the manager deal with him?
Use proper language - avoid jargon, acronyms, slang when applicable
Interaction is the main part of dealing with a customer, and this skill should be mastered firstly. One's speech should be extremely defined, slow, with adequate pauses and explainable. The words being used are supposed to be strictly formal. For example, words like "NAH" or "AHAN" should be completely avoided. The more one tries to be informal, the worst it will get. Managers are supposed to be completely professional, and for that, formality in dialogues and communication is the main need. Without it, the conversation will seem very domestic, which is not needed or preferred by the customers at all! Also, the vocabulary should be understandable, and at any time, the customer should not be left confused. Most people think using the higher class of English language may put a better impact on the customers, but what they do not know is that it actually counter effects the deal, the conservation, the interaction and the manager's image as the customers are missing what message he is actually trying to convey (due to difficult words). The main idea is to enlighten the violator of the rule in detail,about what rule did they break, and what should they have done instead. This may make the customer angrier at times, but that too can be handled with other tricks. The following heading of "Maintaining a positive attitude" will help understand this fact better.
Maintain a positive attitude
In the sales department, one's attitude determines his future. This quote is a precise way of depicting that the attitude is a vital factor of a seller. A positive attitude plays the role as a psychological controller and calms the mood. If the manager looks impassionate and unhappy, it will throw an extremely bad impression on the customer, about the restaurant and the manager himself. However, approaching the customer with a smile on your face can make the situation way cooler, and will put an impressive impact on the customers. Another interesting fact about the sales business is that apart from yours, the behaviour of the buyer also depends substantially upon the attitude or behaviour of the seller himself. An ideal manager of deals is he who knows how tackle the situation when the customer is being very loud or rude, but being rude is never a solution to this problem. Anger can only be treated with a nice, positive attitude. If the manager, just like the customer, starts shouting, the situation will be worsened and will run out of control. The manager, regardless of the intensity of the situation, should never let the positivity in the attitude fade away.
Listen and do not interrupt the customer
Another factor which is missed by a lot of salesmen is to let the buyer speak as well. The basic rule of interaction is the EXCHANGE of dialogues. The word 'exchange' means that both of the parties will contribute evenly to make a conversation effective and to drive it towards a conclusion. This means that the customers should always be given a chance to speak and tell what made them violate the rule, how they did it etc. Sometimes, the problem is not what it looks like and the violator of the regulation has a lot to explain. In the first approach to the customer, one must stop and introduce themselves, to give a nice cool start to the interaction. After this, wait for the customer to start talking or ask what the problem is. If they start talking first, the manager is supposed to stay quiet and listen to their part of the story, and then continue with his. Doing this eradicates the risk of misunderstandings and adds a polite and friendly touch to the conversation. Scolding the customer for his wrongdoings is never an option, as it will only make the customer lose their and counter attack with another loud reply. Interrupting them between their dialogueswill always be considered impolite. Keeping the conservation sequenced plays a vital role in maintaining the calmness in every circumstance.
Be culturally sensitive
A customer should be dealt only as a person, and should never be judged by the culture he leads to. People come from all the parts of the world, and can be of any religion or culture. An individual must try to be more universal with his sayings, and make sure he does not offend anyone. Some cultural habits may lead to break a certain rule of the place, which should be dealt sensitively in order to give the customer a more secure and satisfactory feeling. People may come in their cultural dressing, being surprised is a natural feeling but the real talent is to hide the expressions of surprise, and deal with the customer as he would with any other. These situations should be dealt with utmost professionalism, not hurting anybody's feelings due tocultural habits.
Be on time (if late contact the customer)
The time punctuality matters a lot in the sales businesses, and failing at it will throw a very unimpressive image to the customers. For example, a delivery is supposed to be made in the next thirty minutes then the deadline should be strictly respected. Due to a genuine emergency, if the deliverer gets late, the waiting customers should always be notified of the latency by calling them. A simple call will do no harm to the restaurant, but will maintain their 'caring' image.
While interacting with the customers, 100% of the dealer's attention must be paid to the customers. All other matters, problems and important chores should be kept aside during the conversation.
Personal Calls: One of the rudest things to do while the deal is occurring is to take a phone calls or even looking at the phone when it is ringing. Keeping the phone on 'silent' is advisable for all managers, so that it cannot distract them from paying attention to the customers.
Talk to Co-Workers while interacting with customers: Talking to other people, mostly to the co-workers, must be totally avoided. Things like "get the dishes!" can wait, but the customers should never be offended by the manager's actions.
Personal Interruptions: Other interruptions related to your personal deals, should not be preferred while dealing with the current party.
Dealing with difficult customer or situation
Some people, after performing prohibited actions, do not accept their mistakes and situations like these can become more tense and complicated. However, all kinds of circumstances are left to be dealt with on the manager.
Avoid arguing with customers and/or being defensive: If the customer is talking offensively, replying with a similar tone will only worsen the situation. One must try to cool them down with a calmer tone, in order to keep the situation under control.
Do not minimize customer's problems: The customer's problems should also be acknowledged, and relative solutions should be introduced. Avoiding their problems is never an option! If the customer is being personal about themselves, opening private matters then the managers should always be supportive and caring.
Avoid being judgemental: Being judgemental since it is considered ill-mannered. So, one shouldn't be judgemental and should not be objective.
Clarify customer statements (ask open ended questions to narrow the scope of the problem, restate the issue or question to verify understanding): After the state of the customer is handled, remind them what rule they have broken, enquire them about the problem, and clear the issue by warning them not to repeat their actions.
Set and meet expectations/timeline and communicate status with the customer
When the customers are approached and told what they are doing is not allowed in the area, most likely they will ask where they should do it instead.
Offer different repair/replacement options if applicable: In such circumstances, the customer should be directed towards a part of the place where it is allowed. For example, someone is smoking in a no-smoking area, they should be sent off to the smoking zone if available.
Provide proper documentation on the services provided: If asked, proper documentations should be provided to the customers that state the available services.
Follow up with customer/user at a later date to verify satisfaction: After fulfilling all their demands adequately, the manager should tell them to come back again, to notify whether they get satisfied with the advised amendments.
Deal appropriately with the customer's confidential materials
Some deals require information from the customer, which can include some confidential materials. These documents should be only used for professional needs and services; misuse of such data can result in law violations and ultimately, case filings. The data provided should be kept extremely safe, secured in an electronic device; both, on soft and hard copy.
Located on a computer, desktop, printer, etc.: This data can be stored in computers, printers etc. Losing the data due to unfortunate reasons is possible, such as a sudden crash of the hard drive or the malfunction in the system, but the main idea is to give the protection of the documents your best.
Explaining the fundamentals of dealing with prohibited content/activity:
Here are some of the ways that how a person can actually deal with those who have done some prohibited activity;
First response: Approaching the customers and directly talking about the deal matter will be taken as insensitive. Therefore at the first meet, the introductions are extremely vital.
Report through Proper Channel: An individual is supposed to tell the customers who they are and what department of the company they represent; this will convey a more social touch to the interaction and will make the customers feel more secure. While maintaining formality, enquiries about the customers should also be made for the proper deal usage. Afterwards, if any questions are remaining, direct calls should not be made to the buyers, but their lower channels should be contacted first. If another meet is utterly required, appointments should be fixed which are comfortable for both the parties.
Data/Device Preservations: In these meetings which are mentioned above, other acquired data should also be kept preserved in devices and nothing should be left depending on a person's particular memory.
Use of documentation/documentation changes
In order to keep the information safe, a dealer is supposed to shift the holding documents into different sources. For example, if the information is provided in hard copy i.e. papers, files or such, they should be scanned and immediately preserved in computers, to have a cover/replacement in case of the loss of documents. Once the documents are handed over to the party, a huge responsibility is left over on their part. This is known as the 'Chain of Custody', and is defined further in the following heading.
Chain of custody
For instance, the provided information, data or documents should be preserved in multiple holders as mentioned above. Chain of custody (CoC) in the professional perceptive refers to as the sequential documentations of the paper trail, enlightening the seizure, transfer, control, analysis, custody and disposition on hard copy or soft copy.
Tracking of evidence/documenting process: The chain of custody also includes the adequate tracking of the evidence, in an effort to preserve the documents, and keeping the documenting procedures safe and sound. Failure to complete this task may result in the breakage of the deal, or even the intrusion of the court of law.
Relying completely on the experience and leaving it all on the passage of time, success may take a long time to come to an individual in the sales department. However, after reading this article, the salesmen would surely have attained a basic sense of dealing with the customers. Although the aforementioned headings do not cover all the techniques, but they surely make the reader understand the correct manner of dealing with an activity performed which is against the rules. We hope this article contributes to the brightest future of the salesmen who have just started their career with the nicest hopes. By adhering to all these things, one can ensure some best customer quality and can surely get success in any field one is dealing in.