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Rommel Anacan

Welcome to my blog on MFI! This blog allows me to have an ongoing conversation with multifamily professionals like you. My focus is on helping you and your companies succeed by helping you optimize the quality of your relationships. If you'd like more information about me, my company and the ways that I can help you, please visit my website at www.RelationshipDifference.com

Do You Think About Why You Don't Provide Good Customer Service?

Do You Think About Why You Don't Provide Good Customer Service?

Friends, I have been on a kick lately about asking why we do the things we do and why we don’t do the things we know we should do. For example, take a look at the video below. (Beware, it gets loud, so watch out if you’re watching in an office.)

From what I could put together the Starbucks employee thought the customer was stealing an edible straw worth about a buck. Let me repeat that, a buck. One. Dollar. So she tells the customer that she (the customer) will not be served here and to “give me the straw!” Meanwhile, someone recorded the video, posted it to the Internet, millions of people watched it (including the employee’s bosses at Starbucks) and she lost her job.

Interestingly when she was asked about it later, she felt she was justified in what she did; saying something to the effect of, “I was so tired of people taking advantage of us every day.” So this time, this customer was going to pay, even though, in the end, the barista was the one who paid with her job!


In watching the video I’m sure you asked the same question I asked…WHY??? I mean, what was she thinking? I’m pretty sure that 99.9% of the people who watched the video thought that what she did was NOT a good idea!

Honestly, I bet if you asked her if it was worth it, away from the media spotlight, away from having to defend herself, away from the emotions of the moment she’d admit that she chose poorly that day and would do it differently if she had the chance.

So, the question remains…why did she do it? While we’re wondering we need to ask, why do we provide poor customer service, even when we know we shouldn’t? Why do we roll our eyes at someone, even if you know that’s a bad idea? Why do you say “NO!!!!” when you know that the customer really should get a “Yes” from you?

There is no set answer, is there?

Some days you might not be feeling it: Other days you’re just overwhelmed by tasks that you need to do and that one customer coming in with a request is the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”: You may think (like the barista seemed to) that the customer is lying you feel it your duty to confront the customer: While, sometimes you might think you are giving great service, and the customer just doesn’t agree with you.

It’s important to think about the why…

While there may be no set answer, it’s important that you think about why you didn’t handle a situation effectively, or escalated a situation unnecessarily, or said something to a customer that you regretted as soon as it came out of your mouth, or just decided you weren’t going to try as hard as you normally do to help out. 

In other words when you don’t provide great customer service-why didn’t you do so? What was going on? Were you tired? Angry? Hungry? Overwhelmed? Felt under-appreciated? Overworked? Underpaid? Challenges in your personal life? What's going on?

Take note and see if you find any patterns in why you’re doing the things that you do (or don’t do.) Check your motives! Be curious! Once you've identified patterns or common situations that cause you to be less than your best with your customers you'll be able to find solutions so that you don't continue to do the same things over and over again. 

I know for some of you this will seem like a lot of work-but believe when I tell you this ability to think about the “why” in your “whats” will help you tremendously in your career and in life!


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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I can't say for sure, but it does seem that many of us are not terribly self-aware, so taking the time to analyze our behavior is left undone - maybe out of fear of what we will discover. For me, when I cannot make the situation better because I have to ask to permission to make a decision, I react more from a feeling of utter despair. Over the years, though, I have learned to breathe better and get control of my voice better, especially during confrontations. It takes being emotionally mature and recognizing trigger points for ourselves.

  Mindy Sharp
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thanks for sharing Mindy! Trying to uncover and unpack our reasons for saying and doing what we do is risky in many ways because it is so vulnerable. Recognizing what are our trigger points and when we're starting to hit our limits is so important. Customer isn't easy, so people really do have to take care of themselves before something goes wrong!

  Rommel Anacan

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