Customer Service is Never Out of Your Control | Human-Centered Change and Innovation

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

Last month I was in Las Vegas for a major convention. I stayed at a very nice hotel, and each night I tried to fall and stay asleep. I emphasize the word tried because, unfortunately, there was non-stop, 24-hour-a-day road construction outside the hotel, as the city of Las Vegas is preparing for the Formula One race later this year. All night, there was jackhammering and bulldozing on the streets where the cars will be racing.

Upon checkout, I was asked, “How was your stay?”

I responded, “I love this hotel. It’s too bad about all that noise from the road construction.”

The front desk employee practically cut me off and curtly stated, “It’s out of our control.”

Of course, I knew it wasn’t the hotel’s fault. I didn’t blame them, but she was quick to point that out anyway. I can only imagine how many similar complaints she has heard from numerous guests over the past few weeks and will hear from many more until the project is over. She obviously has become annoyed by hearing the same complaint again and again, and somehow lost empathy or sympathy for her guests.

So how do you communicate something like this, that’s “out of your control?” Here are a few ideas using the hotel as an example:

A problem may be out of your control. That’s okay. What’s not okay is to use “It’s out of my control” as an excuse. Instead, see it as an opportunity to show empathy and care for your customers. It’s the words you use and the way you say them that counts.

Image Credits: Shep Hyken, Pexels

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