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How to Correct an Employee if He/She Gives a Customer the Wrong Information

? He told you what?

How to Correct an Employee if He/She Gives a Customer the Wrong Information

Yelling and screaming at an Employee in front of the customers is a bad move!

It’s about to be pool season!  Hooray!  We prepare for this all year.  We are getting ready for all the hustle and bustle that we love and what keeps our doors open.  With the increase in jobs and customer count, many of us turn to hire seasonal help. Some of us have needed to add another team member over the years permanently.

New people are frequently green;   Some more than others.  It’s ok.  We expect a learning curve and bust our derrière to get them up to speed to help that to keep opening.  But what do we do when the inevitable happens?  What do we do when they inadvertently give the customer the wrong information?  We know it is going to happen.  It’s awkward.  It’s frustrating.

Correct When the Employee Gives Customer Wrong Information

It isn’t very comfortable.  It is a business.  The misinformation needs to be corrected. But how do we do it while still saving face?  Without throwing the new Employee under the bus?  Without making the entire company look like imbeciles and therefore not trustworthy?  It takes real finesse and real talent.

Employee Gives a Customer the Wrong Information

Minor Misinformation

You have to weigh out which outcome giving the wrong info will be more detrimental to your business.  Correcting it or just letting it ride?  If it’s something that won’t cause harm, my suggestion is to let it go.  It’s not worth making it look like your team doesn’t know what they are doing over something minor.

Fake News

Minor water test discrepancies, dosing instructions, features, and benefits, etc.  Only you can determine what is insignificant.  For me, it would be like telling a customer 1 ½ gallons of chlorine versus one and or calling a 7.8 an 8.  Only you know what you find there is a bit of wiggle room on.

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This method works if the customer is still in front of you or after the fact.  Of course, this comes with the risk of the customer, knowing the answer was incorrect.  Damn this Russian pool-roulette!

A matter of opinion

Sometimes you can ease in the corrected answer as “just another option” that you recommend more.  This is an ideal, bad situation.  How is that for an oxymoron?  Speaking of morons, you don’t want to make your Employee sound like one.

It is horrible for their morale, bad for the company image, and makes you look like a jerkwad.  If the customer is still in front of you, mosey on over and invite yourself into the conversation.  Let’s say your Newbie told a guest how to do something incorrectly.

The old’ switch-a-roo

You could interject,

“Newbie, I believe you are thinking of __________ Mr. So-in-so has a ___________, correct?”  It gives the Newbie a chance to pretend he was just confused about the item.

Employee Gives a Customer the Wrong Information

You could also say something like,

“Yes, some people go  (this route), but in my experience….(this) is the best bet…let me tell you why…”.  Then it just sounds like two “right” answers where one is “more right.”  The risk with this is you may not be convincing, and the guest listens to the original idea.  So…be is convincing!

Expanding Knowledge

You can pretend you all just found out a better way. Together, that way, it sounds like you guys are always learning the current and up-to-date info.

For example,

“ Newbie, remember what we learned at that seminar?  THIS is the best way to do that they have discovered.”

You can also spring this ‘new” learning.

“Oh!  I forgot to tell you…I learned THIS.  Or, they changed it to THIS.  Whichever is pertinent to the situation.

Say What???

Major Misinformation

Sometimes no amount of couth or smooth-talking will turn the situation around.  If the lousy information, direction or advice cannot be salvaged, it’s time to put your tail between your legs and admit the mistake.

Always, always be gracious and humble.  Then you try to tight-rope-walk that fine line of correcting the error and not throwing an egg on the Newbie’s face.  I find statements like,

“Newbie is sharp and picking up the business, but his training is ongoing.”

“I could see where Newbie may have gotten that, however….”

“ I have even better news about that…”  In my experience, this humorous statement will soften the blow of the guest being told incorrectly.

Avoid statements like “wrong.”  Instead of saying, “he didn’t know,”  say, “I haven’t had a chance to train him on that.”

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Take responsibility without making a big deal

The more upset and shocked you seem, the more your customer will be.  Do not minimize by any means, but try to offer an apology and a quick solution and move on as if everyone makes mistakes.  Most people are decent and understand that everyone makes mistakes.

Always try to close with a placating statement

“I appreciate your bringing this to my attention.”

“ Thank you for allowing me to correct this.”

“Thank you for your understanding and for being so nice.”

By thanking them for these things, whether or not they did them, you set the expectation and the tone.

Coach your Employee once the customer is gone.  New hires can be tough.  But remember, their confidence helps them thrive.  And hey, we were new once too.