When something goes wrong, instead of saying “Can you help me?” the dissatisfied and demanding customer just keeps on complaining about the same thing. As part of good customer service, write down what they say so you don’t have to ask again.

When you get a word in edgewise, acknowledge the problem. Say, “Let me repeat what I heard you say to make sure I understand this correctly.” Let them know you want to solve their problem fast – “This is the best I can do for you” – and then tell them the fastest, cheapest and best way that you can solve it.

Then, when they rant on a little more, you will not blow up.  Repeat how you will solve their problem, and say thank you for letting you do that. And if you say that they will get it by eleven tomorrow morning, make sure it is there by 10:30 a.m. with a tiny personal note from you, if at all possible.

Please don’t say “do not hesitate to” this and that – you are not a lawyer, and that phrase upsets me to no end. No, at my age, I do not hesitate. Well, I do – at the cottage – before I jump in the water. I always think the water might be too cold.


Upcoming Workshops

Sunday, September 10, 2017 – Full
Sunday, September 17, 2017 – Full
Sunday, September 24, 2017
10 a.m. to 12 noon
100 Dowling Avenue, Toronto
$40; $70 for two

Teen Etiquette
Saturday, September 9, 2017
9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
100 Dowling Avenue, Toronto
Includes three course lunch
and an 8-page workbook
$140; $250 for two; refresher $70

Adult Etiquette
Please call for appointment
100 Dowling Avenue, Toronto
Includes three course lunch and quiz


What People are saying

Love your newsletters! I let them interrupt my day when they arrive!
– Susan

I enjoy everything you write.
– Gloria

Loved your stories, Adeodata!
Been there, done that! 🙂
– Heather Chetwynd

Wonderful example of a frustrating situation! Years ago I went through a fast food drive-through with some friends — we just wanted some beverages. After collecting our order, we stopped in the parking lot to sort things out and discovered that one of the drinks was not as ordered (a 7Up instead of a Coke.) My friend went back inside with it and asked that it be corrected. Apparently all three young women behind the counter responded with “Well, we heard you say…”

Such an attitude is irritating! How about “I’m sorry, let me take care of that for you.” It really doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong — it’s just wrong, so fix it, quickly, with a smile. An apology doesn’t have to mean you messed up, either; it’s an easy way to show empathy. This is not brain surgery, people!
– Jodi Blackwood
Business Etiquette & Customer Experience Specialist

I always read what you send. You do always show what I think is missing in many places….common sense!
Many thanks
– Donald Flynn
Marketing Consultant

Again, another excellent Newsletter. I find Customer Service no matter where you go is so lacking. Yet, if you ask them to attend a Seminar or Workshop on it they’ll tell you that they don’t need it. Oh dear!!!!!
– Dawn

Thanks again for your advice last month,
Great story you have here about customer service
– Kathy Whittaker
Registered Psychologist, Montreal

Good article, Adeodata.
Thank you!
– Debra