Get your WAY the NICE way…

golden rule
… live by the Golden Rule and get Royal Results!
I think we are pretty “nice” people…we’re told that often enough so I believe it to be true! I think it’s fun to be nice. It feels natural and right to be nice. Niceness usually means that you get niceness back – and that feels great to receive! Are we perfectly nice 100% of the time? No, nobody is, but we sure try our best! But what IS niceness? Let’s explore this topic to see if we can agree on what “nice” behavior is, then see if it’s as effective as being aggressive in a sales or service situation. Oh – and what does this have to do with vacuum cleaners? You’ll see…
I enjoy producing articles that teach a “bigger” message. But to answer that last question, remember that your vacuum is a machine.  Like many others you have it frequently requires professional service and replacement parts. With that comes personal interaction between you and your service providers (like us!) And when everyone plays nice it makes every experience SO much more enjoyable and rewarding for both parties! If you work in retail you surely know what I mean! Just remember that we all are consumers also and we can all-too-quickly forget what it’s like to be on the other side. So this concept applies to your vacuum cleaner and to a multitude of areas of your life!
I believe that “nice” behavior is a cocktail of several different qualities expressed in an exchange between two or more people. If even one of these elements are left out the situation can get heated, stressful, be difficult to resolve the problem and/or cause an irreparable blowout! So, what should be in this ideal mix? In my book, the requirements are: Gentle tone of voice, a smile, patience, carefully listening to the other’s perspective or/or needs, sincerity and honesty, relaxed body language, respect for the other’s time… Be sensitive to the other person’s feelings and perspective – yet aim to NOT be so sensitive personally (i.e. have a thicker skin.)
For example, here at Queen Vacuum, most of our customers are absolutely amazing; the most delightful and appreciative folks! Yet we must remember that when a customer comes in frantic, upset, demanding or angry that their vacuum isn’t working that we shouldn’t take it personally. And like every business, we have systems in place that keep the work flow orderly, efficient and allow for thorough execution of each job or transaction. It makes work easier when customers respect that our systems are in the best interest of all of us. We of course try to be flexible and super-helpful for those who some in with true “emergencies” or special situations. BUT – badgering, questioning and extreme, on-the-spot demands are discombobulating, stressful and unfair to everyone, including other customers – like, duh LOL!! 
If you ever have a real predicament, special need or lots of questions – feel free to call in advance to kindly explain and see if/when/how we can arrange a solution. We’re happy to help you any way we can! But it might be too hard for us to help and think critically when our benches are already full of complicated repairs AND the showroom is full of active sales appointments AND the phone is ringing off the hook! NO, we may not be able to unclog someone’s Dyson RIGHT NOW while they wait no matter how much they beg/make a scene/threaten to never come back again LOL!!
MORAL OF THE STORY: We all get cranky and impatient sometimes. But I genuinely believe our lives would be so much better if we were all a little nicer. Our encounters in life are often brief and with little or no background. We don’t know each other’s situations or hardships and one tiny straw can indeed break the camel’s back.
So whatever side of the sales counter we’re on, let’s ditch the ‘ol “chip” on the shoulder and choose to be happy and kind! Instead of being aggravated, impatient, demanding and/or accusatory let’s all pledge to assume the best, give the benefit of the doubt, be patient… you know, “golden rule” stuff! A little respect and a friendly smile can go a long way to getting everyone what we desire!
 
By the way…if YOU are a nice person too – STOP IN and be sure to send in all your FRIENDS if they’re anything like you! 

HELP Helpers to Help You Better…

Crystal Ball with vacuum stuffWith Mind Readers in short supply – Arm yourself with the right info to get exactly what you need! 

What do PSYCHICS have to do with getting you the correct type of printer ink, brake pads or vacuum cleaner bags? NOTHING!  (And that’s precisely why you wouldn’t want to rely on one to get the products you seek!)

Let’s take a light-hearted look at an issue that drives consumers, retailers and service people equally nuts…We call it “Crystal Ball Syndrome,” CBS for short. It all has to do with expecting others – specifically those we do business with – to be mind readers!    

With our lives as busy as they are, we all need HELP! Thus, we employ the services of a wide variety of “helpers”(i.e. repair people, hairdressers, cleaning ladies, etc.) to do things for which we don’t have the time and/or expertise.  We also need stuff (i.e. food, clothing, electronics, household supplies and replacement parts.) With so much to wade through and so many variants, we often rely on salespeople to point us to the right aisle, or to select the correct product for our needs.
But have you ever gotten all the way to the store to pick up something like an ink cartridge, only to realize that you have no idea which type (of the 100 choices on the wall) that you need! Perhaps a nearby sales clerk takes pity, trying his best to jog your memory for details that can help him figure out what style your machine takes. But you can’t even offer him the brand….All you know is that “it’s blackish/grayish, square-ish, about yea big…”  Both of you are frustrated. He makes no sale and you go home empty-handed.

Crystal Ball Syndrome strikes consumers and retailers alike…no one is immune. Parties on either side of the sales counter become understandably feverish over wasted money, effort and disappointing results. The good news is that this affliction can be prevented by executing two simple measures: Homework and Communication.

As a consumer, your HOMEWORK should be to always take a little time in advance to collect your thoughts about what you want, for what purpose, and why. Be confident and secure in what you seek, up-front. If you’re undecided it will be equally helpful to tell your salesperson exactly where you need clarification or tailored advice. Details are key! Here are some examples specific to our business…    

Let’s say you need a replacement part for your vacuum cleaner:

  • Learn the NAME of the part you need of (i.e. Drive Belt)
  • Write down PART/STYLE NUMBER if you can find it (i.e. Style 4/5)
  • Write down the BRAND and MODEL number of the machine in case (i.e. Dirt Devil, #M085590)
  • If you’re not sure what type of info you need to bring – or don’t know where to find it – Call first to ask.

If you want to buy a new vacuum cleaner, come in having considered:

  • Your budget (up front and annual)
  • Size of your house and number of levels
  • Types of hard flooring and types of carpeting
  • Pets? Kids? Cleaning service?
  • Family health issues or physical limitations like allergies or back problems
  • Vacuums you’ve liked or disliked in the past and why

COMMUNICATION: This, of course, works both ways. In other words, although service/sales people are not psychics, they should of course be skilled, listen carefully, and have a strong command of their responsibilities and products. They must also be clear to you, their customer, about what info they need in order to give you the product or result you seek.  However, their ability to help you to the fullest relies on your ability to clearly communicate your needs, likes, dislikes, budget, deadline, other expectations or questions. Try to use the right terminology if you can, but don’t be ashamed to ask what things are called – We can all work together better when we speak the same language!

We’ve all been victims and inflictors of CBS. So remember that “helpers” can’t read your mind (and neither can customers.)  Just like your husband that can’t guess why you’re upset – your cleaning lady can’t know you are allergic to PineSol if you don’t tell her.  And although you shouldn’t expect us to remember the belt style for the vacuum your Mom bought from our store in 1984 – we need to be able to help you find the model number we need to look it up and get it for you! 

In spite of the mental fog and lack of patience caused by our hectic lives, we can take steps to prevent further suffering…  Since it’s easier to do something right from the start, vow to be prepared: Know what you have, know what you want, and learn the right terminology to use to enable someone to help you to get what you need!