Customer Service

“It Just Popped Off” and Other Lame Client Excuses

What are the wildest excuses you've heard from your clients?

I’ve heard – and I’ve delivered – my fair share of excuses. I’ve listened to sob stories and lame excuses from clients, staffers, and children alike. “Who cut the dog’s hair?” elicits a rambling excuse from my child how he was trying to see if the scissors worked and didn’t intend to do a full-blown doggie cut. I’ve heard fast-forwarded through tedious voicemail explanations of why a staffer – trying to sound as if she is on her death bed – explain why they aren’t coming in for the day (a simple “I won’t be in today; I’m sick” is really all I need to know). And don’t get me started on clients and readers (this means you!) telling me why a bill can’t get paid or why material is late.

As people who deal with the public all day long, nail technicians hear some doozies. “It just popped off” is the classic when a client presents with an obviously chewed-off nail, or the client who smears her polish while you watch her dig into her purse for keys then says you’ve applied it wrong, are just two in the Nail Tech Excuse Hit Parade.

So I hereby announce NAILS First Annual Best Excuse Contest. And, of course, by best I mean the ones that stretch the imagination, defy reality and the laws of physics, or just give me a good chuckle. I will be the sole judge and we’ll run the favorite stories in an upcoming issue. Send stories by email to the address below (to me directly) or by regular mail at 3520 Challenger St., Torrance, CA 90503.

You work in a field where your constant good humor and ability to be flexible and friendly are as important as your ability to fit a tip or polish a nail. I also know that oftentimes it is the most challenging clients who help you sharpen your customer service and managerial skills. Share some of your favorite excuses and we’ll laugh and learn together.

Keywords:   As I See It     customer service  

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