By: Rachel Lyda, College Pro Window Cleaning Franchisee
As a person who has worked in customer service since my first job as a hostess at a restaurant when I was 18, I have spent the past 5 years learning how to deal with people. I’ve made mistakes, learned you can’t please everyone, developed relationships, lost some, and, overall, realized that customer service can be the most frustrating thing on earth, but at the same time, ultimately rewarding.
Working as a franchisee at College Pro, customer service is a vital component of making your business run. It’s not just about being polite, on time, professional or right. To understand the foundation of customer service and utilize it in order to build sustainable and long lasting relationships with customers, you must learn to do what is the hardest thing to do at all: own your mistakes without excuses.
As a window cleaning franchisee, there were many incidents where it would have been easy to shove the blame for a mistake on one of my employees or not claim responsibility about it at all. It is those times where you think it also cannot get any more difficult, and then you are hit with the ultimate task. Ever heard of the phrase, “the customer is always right?” This phrase was drilled into my head as a Starbucks barista and was tolerable to deal with people behind a counter for only a few minutes at a time. But, as an owner of a window cleaning business, you are liable for respecting customers in every way, shape and form EVEN when it truly is their fault.
Maybe the customer thought they didn’t agree to pay the designated amount and accused you of trying to rip them off, they told you the wrong time and got angry when you didn’t show up at that time, OR, my least favorite, your employees show up late from a previous job and don’t call ahead. No matter what the situation is, it is extremely humbling to acknowledge your part of the problem and empathize with the customer. Showing a customer you care about them, first and foremost, and not just your reputation or paycheck, genuine honesty and remorse can earn you a faithful customer for the future.