I’ve been reading the Strobist recently (I seem to have an interest in photography, I blame my uncle), and he links over to John Harrington’s new blog on the business of photography. He has a small article on wise words for your client dialog (referencing Customer Service for Dummies). The positive and negative items apply to any business where you have to interact with customers, and is a worth taking a quick read of. I wonder how many people have replied to a question “I don’t know”, instead of turning it around, and saying “I’ll find out”. I generally try to take the positive way around, even when working with people in my own office.
I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard “That’s not my job”, or similar, while working here. I generally take the attitude of “if I cannot do it, I’ll see if I know somebody that can, or point in a better direction”.
“I’m busy right now” is also a good one. I recently took a staff training thing through the office (mandatory), but it was actually quite good. It was done through a company called Senn-Delaney, and you end up leaving with a small glass “block”. On it is a simple inscription “Be Here Now”. What is good about this is that this isn’t supposed to be pointing to the people on the other side of your desk, but at you. This goes well with the “I’m busy right now”, and pushes it over to “I’ll be right with you”. Keep one task active, don’t do too many things at once, otherwise you will be in trouble.