The Art of Service (Impossible to Please)
Anyone who works in the service industry will understand when I say that some clients are just impossible to please. Whether you’re a waiter, a chauffeur, a bartender, a concierge, or anyone who works in the customer service department of almost any organization we have all encountered at least one completely ridiculous and unrealistic individual who we knew was going to be a problem from day one. These are the clients who come in the door with an attitude and are usually people who almost immediately give you that sinking feeling in your stomach. Your first reaction is to tell them we don’t have the availability, or all our rooms or booked, or perhaps no I’m sorry we don’t serve that here, but business is business and that is when we make the first mistake. Instead of saying “I am sorry sir I can’t help you.” we say “O of course sir, we can accommodate you.”
Stop me if the following chain of events sounds familiar, the person asks for some special accommodation or consideration, orders something off the menu or asks you to violate company protocol. At first you hedge a bit, not that it’s a completely ridiculous request but you’ve been doing this long enough to know that this is how it starts. The client reacts either by being irritated or pushy and will usually say something along the lines of “Well I was told by so and so that this place was the best, or the opposite “Well (insert name of competitor here) wouldn’t have a problem doing this”. The other common reaction is to be a complete jerk and ask for the manager immediately, if this is what happens then you know, without doubt, the type of person you are dealing with. So one way or another you make the exception, inconvenience the entire staff, spend time and energy going above and beyond for this client. You are positive that you have exceeded their expectations and are completely sure that they will be satisfied and then the unimaginable happens.
After spending ten times as much time on this situation and bending over backwards to fulfill the special request. The client, at the end, is still unhappy. For most individuals who fall into this category unhappy is a gross understatement, they are more usually irate and belligerent, ranting and raving and demanding a refund or some other completely unrealistic compensation. What they are complaining about is something typically unrelated to their special request (because they know you made sure that was done right), and often it is something so ridiculous and unforeseen that at first you may think the person is joking. The check was brought too early, the bartender smiled at my wife, he did not get the door quick enough, my napkin wasn’t folded properly. Little ridiculous things that 99% of the population (thank god) would not have even noticed let alone complained about.
Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there, to compensate someone for the ice melting too fast in their water or the limousine driver not breaking the speed limit and running a red light, or the bartender who tried to cut you off because you couldn’t stand up straight, is not something your company or establishment does. You politely tell the maniac that your sorry but there’s nothing you can do, and then the fireworks begin. You see there unfortunately exist in this world people who enjoy hurting others, and typically the more pain they inflict the better it is for them. The scary part is that these individuals are usually so self absorbed that they very rarely see themselves for what they are and they certainly don’t care about what it does to those around them.
Ultimately what can be done? Unfortunately not a tremendous amount, you really can’t profile people and even if you did you run the risk of losing business or worse. The only thing you can do is your best. The law of averages dictates that eventually people like this will cross your path, that for every thousand clients that you please you will get that one that you never had a chance with. Rise above and be the best you can be, don’t let these negative, impossible individuals ruin your day or break your spirit, remember to serve is divine.
All Star Limousine is a Long Island, New York based company with an extensive global reach; we provide expert Wedding, Special Event and Executive Travel services throughout the Tri-State area and the world. We have over 30 years of experience in the travel industry; our attention to detail, 2014 top-of-the-line vehicles and professional trained Chauffeurs set us apart from the rest!