How Not to Treat Customers


I’m a huge fan of HGTV and I like about 95% of the shows they have. Until last night! I was watching a real estate TV show on HGTV and it was a case study in what not to do when working with customers. I actually found myself yelling at the TV and telling the broker she was an idiot. HGTV’s “The Property Shop” features real estate broker Tatiana, who “helps” people find properties to buy and “helps” them sell property too.

Generally I wouldn’t write about a TV show, but the episode I saw “Customer Service Conundrum” was horrific to say the least. If you work with customers, you might want to check out the next episode and everything that the broker does – do the opposite!

Here are some points that I got from the episode…

If you say you’ll be there…be there. Don’t schedule a meeting for a time you know you can’t make. This goes for phone and in person meetings as well as deadlines. If you say you’ll have something to the customer by Friday, stick to it. If absolutely necessary, give the customer a heads up way before the deadline if you think you won’t make it. In general, plan accordingly. Customers’ time is as valuable as yours.

Accept blame…don’t say everyone does it. When you make a mistake, own up to it. Sure, everyone makes mistakes but don’t tell customers that. They know it and if you tell them it, you sound like an idiot who isn’t capable of taking blame.

Don’t yell. Never, never, never yell at customers. In fact, you shouldn’t yell at anyone – ever.

Don’t pass problems off to other people. You’re a grown up. If you got yourself into a situation, deal with it like a grown up. Don’t just pass your problems off to other people. There’s nothing worse then talking to someone and they then pass you off to someone else who passes you off to someone else.

Customers don’t care how busy you are. Everyone is busy. Being busy is never an excuse. . If you’re too busy to do something, don’t do it or give realistic deadlines. Manage your time and your projects. No one wants to hear someone complaining.

Maybe this was just a bad episode I saw, but if I lived in Montreal and was looking for a real estate broker, she’d be the last person I’d call. She’s rude, hypocritical, self pitying and is a horrific example of good customer service. However, she did give me something to write about today so, thank you Tatiana.

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3 Responses

  1. You’re spot-on with your assessment of Tatiana! She was on another HGTV show a few times (I believe it was “Buy Me”). Someone obviously saw that she had something in order to get her own show. I don’t see it at all. She comes off as a rude, greedy, selfish woman. Sadly, I think this is another example of drama for the sake of drama in a reality-based show.

  2. I have watched the Property Shop a few times, she does come off as a stereo typical salesperson. However it is interesting to watch her clients,and their own greed and lack of loyalty to the person they chose to represent them. Maybe this is why not all people can be a salesperson.

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