Yesterday I experienced one of the most common missteps of good customer service — ignoring customers to attend to “organizational” priorities.

I was waiting in line to pay for my purchases, but as my turn arrived, the Manager showed up to make sure the cashier has enough change. Of course this is a good thing because it ensures that the cashier does not hold up customers because they don’t have correct change.

The issue was that I was ignored while they attended to the task.

When I stepped up to the counter, rather than the cashier acknowledging me before turning her attention to the task, she immediately turned to the Manager to discuss her needs. They quickly shuffled through the dollars and cents to decide what she needed.

It was only 30-45 seconds, and then the cashier rang up my purchases and sent me on my way with a cheery “Have a nice day!”

However, it let me know the priorities in this organization.

My Perspective: To be clear, I don’t hold the young girl responsible for this misstep — but the manager/management.

Management needs to ensure that tasks of good customer service don’t interfere with delivering good customer service.

When tasks need to be performed in full view of the customer, a simple acknowledgement of the customer would let them know they were seen and appreciated. Then you can address the organizational task. This could be getting change or restocking a shelf, but the customer needs to be the first priority.

The simple steps of viewing these types of tasks through the eyes of the customer will give you a quick clue on how to handle them.

For more information about having Bill speak about this topic at your next event, visit Kickass Keynotes