As we’ve been travelling around Tasmania, we wanted to learn about and see some Tasmanian Devils. Ross searched the internet to find out opening hours and prices for a Tasmanian Devil attraction near where we were staying.
We arrived at the venue. After greeting us and asking if we wanted to enter, the salesperson said, “Your contribution is $37.50 per adult, which includes a donation to further research, etc.”
“Oh, that’s more than we read on the website”, I said.
“Was it our website?” she asked, as she proceeded to look it up, telling us that we were wrong and here it was to prove it.
Ross showed her what he had found on the internet and she continued to prove herself right.
“You did a Google search. We can’t control that. That was written by someone in 2014”, she said in a condescending manner.
We were originally okay with the increase in price. It was $2.50 per person. No big deal.
We were not okay with her manner, nor her seeming desire to prove us wrong.
“It’s okay”, I said. “We’ll pay the correct price.”
“I just wanted to check for myself,” she lied as she turned the computer screen towards us to show us, when we were not at all interested.
“No you didn’t,” I retorted, this time completely exasperated by her. “You just wanted to make us wrong.”
Next came the information that there would be a surcharge for paying by credit card. This did it for me.
“You know what? We won’t worry about it.”
With that she gave me back my card. I told her she could improve her customer service skills and we walked out.
As I write this, it’s hard to describe the manner in which she spoke and gestured. It was totally uncomfortable and off putting.
As I was driving away, I reminded myself that it was only an experience. There is no suffering in any experience; only the meaning we give it.
I also considered how I would have handled the situation differently.
Knowing that people get things wrong and that there was little resistance on our part to the increased price, I would have chosen to be kind rather than right.
I would have replied with something like, “Oh, thank you for telling me [about the difference in price]. I’m sorry the price wasn’t correct. The current price is $37.50 if you’d still like to come in.”
Wow! How to lose the business $75 in income in less than 2 minutes.
What would you have done from a number of different perspectives:
- The customer
- The salesperson
- The business owner?