Response Crafting

Your client calls matter

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My taxi wasn’t waiting outside this morning. After five minutes, I called them. A woman answered, and responded to my concern by saying, matter-of-factly: “he’s outside right now.”
“No, he’s not.”
“Yes, ma’am. Our system shows he’s outside.”
“Well, I’m standing outside, and he’s not here.”
So she puts me on hold, and a few minutes later gets back on to tell me: “okay, he’s right around the corner. He’ll be there in a second.”

Now, I realize that that’s just a figure of speech. But when somebody is calling you with a concern specifically related to timeliness, you should really make an effort to recognize that and rebuild the quickly-deteriorating trust with a quote that makes them feel better about working with you, not worse.

So I responded, “can you please give me a more accurate estimate than a second?”
“Okay.” She snapped: “30 seconds.”

A response that just didn’t sit right with me, given that the only one at fault here is still them.

So I hang up, and while I’m standing there – longer than 30 seconds, by the way – another taxi pulls up. So, yea, I got in. But I try to do my part, so I called Yellow Cab to let them know they could cancel my cab. I clarified that I was cancelling because it was ten minutes late.

Generally, when someone decides against doing business with you because you dropped the ball, and then actually does you the favor of educating you on this fact, you should respond with something a little more constructive than the response I got, which was, shockingly:

“Okay. Thanks.”


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