Sometimes in difficult situations, we don’t know what to say. We just don’t have the right words. Thoughtful verbal discretion is an art, for sure, but it’s something we can all learn with some good examples and practice. So, as part of an ongoing series, we’re going to give you a scenario along with our recommended script. One of these days, when you find yourself in an awkward situation, you just might be able to hearken back to one of these scripts and use the right words that will help smooth out the situation. After all, that’s the basis of public relations: having good relationships no matter what the scenario. So here goes.
Scenario: The child of a longtime customer is running wild in your store, disrupting other customers and damaging your wares.
Script for store manager: “Mr. X, we want you to know how much we appreciate your patronage of our store. We notice that you’re son is a bit antsy as you get your shopping done here. Here’s a bag of crayons and a coloring book for him so he can sit in your cart and color while you shop. We want to make sure that he is safe in our store. Also, let us know if we can help you find what you need so you can get through with your shopping more easily.”
There. You’ve occupied the little tyrant, you’ve assuaged the father, and you’ve made your point and kept your customer happy without making him feel badly.
If you have a difficult situation for which you’d like us to produce a script in our column, send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course we’ll tweak the wording so that you and your business remain anonymous.