When You Correct a Customer, You Make Them Feel Dumb

A few weeks ago I was in an Italian restaurant in Lower Manhattan with colleagues. When it was my time to order, I said, “I’ll have the Gnocchi.” Only, I mispronounced it.

The server said to me, “You mean ‘N-Yo-Key.'”

I did mispronounce Gnocchi, boy, do I know that now! But the correction singled me out in front of others, and I felt a little dumb.

Don’t make your customers feel this way – ever. If they mispronounce something, you have two choices: Ignore it and move on, or, discretely and tactfully correct them. You never want to cause negative feelings with your customer.

So, the Gnocchi incident inspired me to a create quick video training that I call “Make Customers Feel Smart and Good.” That’s the opposite of what I felt that day in Manhattan. Share it with your team to prepare them to make customers feel smart and competent, even when customers make mistakes, mispronounce words or say dumb things.

This video is about giving customers an experience that makes them feel good and maintains their esteem. Viewers learn 3 Keys for a Friendly Customer Experience: Never Correct a Customer, Pacing a Customer’s Sense of Urgency and Acknowledging Concern.


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Myra is a favorite training partner to Fortune 500 companies with her customized, engaging, behavior-changing (and fun) customer service workshops, working with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, Michelin, Vera Bradley and other brands.

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