phonemannerSaturday morning, thinking about our Sunday morning takeout order from a well-regarded local breakfast place, I just wanted to get the details on some items on their menu, and confirm they provide curbside delivery to the trunk of the car.

I called and with a groan in my ear, the phone call was off to a bad start.

Yes, of course (read with snotty attitude) the food answers were grudgingly provided. Curbside delivery–“No, you come in”–but isn’t the reason to ask for curbside delivery is that I don’t want to come in?

I asked again. “This is a restaurant not a hospital, so you come in and we will give you the order.” I reiterated I didn’t want to come inside. “OK, we will do it” (with the implication that I better never ask for that accommodation again).

Not a morning person and working at a breakfast place? Her bad day became mine. I don’t shrug this off easily because I too am judged by my customer service. She’s allowed a bad day, especially in an industry so hammered by the pandemic. But watch that tone on the phone , OK? I can eat elsewhere and there’s no shortage of good breakfast places around here.

I silently wished that the next morning (today) she wouldn’t answer the phone.

And my wish was granted.

With my same questions as the day before, Eva answered the phone this morning, bouncy, accommodating, and happy to help in any way. The order sealed a smile on my face and the rest of my head shaking that the contrast from yesterday was remarkable. (So I decided to remark here.)

Eva was waiting for me as I pulled up and opened my trunk, as she wished me a great day and placed the goodies inside, waving goodbye like I was part of her family setting off on a cross country drive.

Restaurant reputation restored.

Moral of the story? Be real, be approachable, be yourself, on the phone, in emails, on LinkedIn.

It’s all in the wrist action.

Marc W. Halpert

LinkedIn personal coach, group trainer, marketing strategist and overall evangelist, having a great time pursuing my passion of connecting professionals so they can collaborate better!

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