When it comes to Red Carpet Service, we naturally want to make people feel welcome, seen, and heard. Basically, we want to be 100% present with our customers. This means taking the time to listen and genuinely engage with the person who is in front of us, on the phone, or even on the internet.
However, there are those customers who keep you engaged for quite a while when you have other customers or tasks to attend to. Perhaps an older adult is lonely and wants someone to talk to, or a child is excited about their latest LEGO creation, and they have to tell you ALL about it. Or, you’re merely engaging with a customer who likes to talk.
So, how do you gracefully extract yourself from the conversation, while still leaving the customer feeling happy about the interaction? It’s a tough one, and sometimes it’s not the most straightforward problem to navigate.
Here are some tips on gracefully extracting yourself from the situation:
- First – make sure that when you’re with that person, for however long, you are giving them 100% of your attention. Be fully present.
- Summarize what they’ve told you, so they know you’re listening and ask any follow-up questions.
- End the conversation by saying something like “I just LOVE talking with you. I could do it all day. Unfortunately, my boss is expecting me to do these other things, but I look forward to the next time we talk!” Or “Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I’m going to look into it in this specific way, and I’ll get back to you by this date.” Or “Whenever we talk, it just makes my day! I do have to finish up this task (or serve the next customer, etc.) but I so look forward to our next conversation! Remember to let me know how Sparky is doing.”
- If there is some action to be taken from the conversation, be sure to give them a specific time or date you’ll get back to them – and do it!!
- Since you know they love to chat with you, make sure you take a few minutes whenever the opportunity presents itself to be 100% present with them so that they feel heard and seen. You can even seek the customer out via the phone, or in person, if they are available.
- When all else fails, ask a co-worker to ‘rescue’ you after 5 minutes when they see you engaged in conversation with this person. They can pull you away for a task.
- However, remember your goal is always to make them feel seen, heard and like you are thrilled to engage with them.
Make them happier than they were 10 seconds before talking with you!