Mon | Feb 18, 2019

Yaneek Page | Make customer peace and safety a priority in 2019

Published:Sunday | January 20, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Woman listening to earphones at a coffee shop

IMPORTANT NOTICE;

XYZ Ja is the ultimate place to escape and relax while being pampered.

Please RESPECT others' quiet zone. Please use earphones to listen to any music or sounds from your phones or gadgets.

- Signed: Management

Businesswise: Congratulations on making the comfort and peace of your clients a priority in 2019. This move is not only customer-centric, but also preserves the integrity of your brand promise.

I understand that this notice became necessary after you received several complaints from clients about being disturbed by others' use of mobile phones and other personal electronic gadgets. In one particularly disturbing incident, a conflict developed between your clients when a visitor who accompanied one of your clients refused to turn down the volume on his mobile phone even after he was politely asked to do so by another client who was trying to read a book nearby. The practice of customer or patrons playing sound from their personal devices without the use of headsets in public spaces is inconsiderate of others and untenable in a customer-centric environment. You are absolutely right to take new steps necessary to protect your clients' peace and maintain the tranquility of the space.

 

Revised Notice

 

I have tweaked your notice slightly so that it meets the basic tenets of effective customer communication. When communicating with your customers, you must be mindful of how they will receive and respond to your statement, whether you say it verbally or post it as a written notice. At all times, you need to be respectful, courteous, and professional. Here's my revision:

 

To Our Valued Clients

 

We want to create a space for you that is comfortable and tranquil so you may relax while being pampered.

We therefore ask that you kindly use earphones to listen to and communicate on your mobile phones, tablets, and other technological devices.

Thank you for choosing XYZ Ja. We value your business.

I changed the heading from 'Important Notice' to 'To Our Valued Clients' because the former was authoritative and directive and didn't connote customer-centricity. Customers need to feel valued, important, and that they are in control. They don't want to feel like they're being spoken down to or bossed around. Therefore, I made the communiquÈ about them and enhancing their experience and comfort. By explaining how headphones benefit them, your customers will feel special and more inclined to cooperate.

 

HOSTILE WORDS

 

When communicating with customers, you never want to shout, therefore you don't capitalise letters or words to scream at them. While using simple language is important, you also should avoid the use of negative words or phrases that could be interpreted as hostile. Notices that end with 'Signed: Management" can be interpreted as dictatorial and are inappropriate for communication with customers. Instead, it is always best to end by thanking your customers for their cooperation or their business. You could have gone even further to invite comments and feedback should they have any concerns that they wish you to address.

While you plan on displaying this notice in a prominent place, it may also be helpful, at an opportune time, to bring it to your customers' attention via polite conversation. It may be a great opportunity to get their feedback and buy-in. However, if it happens that a customer or patron does come in with his devices blaring, having not seen the sign, under no circumstances should you point out the sign for that person to read. Instead, you would walk over to the individual calmly and pleasantly and quietly invite them to "help create a comfortable space for all customers" by using his headphones. If you really want to take your service up a notch, you could even consider having complimentary disposable headphones on hand or available for client purchase.

One love.

- Yaneek Page is an entrepreneur and trainer in entrepreneurship & workforce innovation. She's also the creator & executive producer of The Innovators and Let's Make Peace TV series. Email: info@yaneekpage.com Twitter: @yaneekpage, Website: www.yaneekpage.com