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Archive for April, 2009

Did I Get It Wrong?

April 25th, 2009 admin No comments

You know, its almost 24 hours since the beginning of the hiccup I had with a booking for 3pm today and I am still puzzled as to why what happened, did happen!

So what went wrong? Or should it be what did I do that was so wrong? Or should I blame anything on everyone else instead of me. Well whatever way I look at it, the whole of the thing is still totally giving me a headache as I simply am not sure what I did to cause the total confusion except for …. ok, let me start at the beginning and I might be able to make it make sense … eh? Oh god … just start saying it Susan!

3 weeks back I had a booking come in for a spanish guy coming over to Manchester. It was for 3pm today. No problems with booking, everything sorted weeks back, girl, venue, knew what was the duration etc. However, at 10.30pm last night I had a distraught phone call from one of the team … she was in A&E and they suspected it was appendicitis. She was obviously in a lot of pain but you know she was more concerned about the fact that she would let me down tomorrow!

I e-mailed the client around 10.30pm last night as I could not recall without trawling through my emails when he was due in the UK and what his number was to say that potentially another girl may be able to fill in but that there was no point my checking with any of the team unless he did want to see them. I made 4 suggestions.

Having got to bed a short while later having just had a very long day down in Cheshire at a finance clients I was shattered. Saturday mornings I usually give myself a treat of a movie. Sounds daft I know but its the only morning where I know I can have a couple of hours to myself as the phone is usually quiet and its my wake up time. I was really treating myself today as my brother had loaned me Mamma Mia! Yeah, what a total hoot this film was. Pure cheese but guaranteed to give me smiles and it did not fail to do that.

I rang my brother as soon as I had finished the film … he was grouting his new kitchen … poor love but he heard the giggle in my voice and then finishing the call I knew I had to take Coco out for a walk and get to the post office. Then the hell started.

On a Saturday morning my first thought is not to switch on my computer and that was, I suppose, my first mistake. The client rang me just after 11am to say had I not got his e-mail and could I please tell him who was arriving at 3pm. He had apparently emailed me at 12.20am with a list of girls to try in the order he wanted me to try and get them to see him. Of the 4 girls I suggested who could be possible, only one was on his list which obviously cut my possibilities down.

Oh god, that was my first mistake. I did not wait for a response last night and I did not switch my computer on to check emails instead I gave myself a comparatively early night and a relaxed morning. Makes me wish now that I had thought more about others than myself!

When the client rang and I realised he had expectations still of seeing someone for his agreed time at 3pm, I really was in panic mode. We just don’t do short notice with ease. Its not something we have to do as I keep wittering on about but no, the client was obviously very difficult to talk to as I was talking too fast and his command of English, whilst great was not keeping up with my reasoning on who may be possible. I rang the girl he wanted to see instead whilst talking to him and she could not do this.

I explained this to the client but he still asked me to see who could arrive, he rang off saying I was to call him as soon as I could … he gave me all of 20 minutes before ringing back. I had tried 4 girls and no answers so had sent texts but of course with my team we are not set up to be short notice so no wonder they did not get back to me immediately. I tried again to explain this to the client but his anger was actually quite evident. It was not his fault that his booking had been messed up and he wanted to see someone. I did suggest another agency that was set up with girls who would be happy to do a short notice booking would be sensible but I did not feel he listened at all to me. He wanted to see who he wanted to see in my team.

At that stage, I lost heart. I could not demand anyone see someone just like that so I just crossed my fingers and I think my prayers were answered as one of the team suddenly texted back after three no’s from the others to say that she did not have to be anywhere or do anything today and she did not mind the long journey into Manchester. Phew … saved!

I rang the client who seemed really happy and although it was not one of the girls on his list he was ok with that … or so I thought.

She arrived around 30 minutes early as it was a long way for her to go and she wanted to be certain to find parking on a Saturday in Manchester with ease and the client was happy to see her earlier but then the trouble really started.

All of my team always within minutes of getting in a booking have to text me to confirm that they are personally ok and that their payment has been received. Its important that we stay professional on everything and the girl with the client had accepted payment but had found it short so had contacted me to ask what to do.

The client had chosen to cut the booking down on hours because he was not getting the girl he wanted. He had not told me and he was absolutely livid on the phone when I said clearly that that was not acceptable. He tried to make me feel as if I had done something wrong and I am still sat here puzzling myself about what the hell I did wrong. I pulled out every stop to get this sorted. I got someone to be there and not once during the 3 times I spoke to him this morning did he mention cutting the hours down. His emails all showed clearly the agreed duration and even the email when he agreed to a change in girl showed clearly the duration.

He tried to tell me I was wrong and I am still trying to accept that. Its customer service I have to have in mind but to enable things to stay sensible as far as I could, I had to totally back down … one of my team was there in his vicinity and it was obvious I was making him incredibly angry. He is Spanish, yes, therefore the tendency of the English to believe that the Spanish can be very excitable was in the back of my head and later when my team member rang me she said that he was gesticulating wildly and was very angry but you know I came off the phone and she knew what to do to handle his anger.

I am so impressed by her. Its usually my job to step in and smooth things over but this client, I have to be honest, I could not manage what he put me through … but she did.

Its wrong of me to name any of the team members who were involved in this but suffice to say I am totally and utterly thrilled with how she handled the hassle today. She calmed him down and got things back on an even track.

I still think in some senses that the client owes an apology to both me and the person who he saw and I keep thinking that somehow I must have got it wrong to have had him so angry … yet all I can think is that it was not his fault that one of my team fell ill and it certainly was not my fault that we are not a short notice agency but when one of the team did arrive he chose to cut the hours without telling me and then tried to say that it was his choice but to me its downright arrogant and rude to have done this. The girl had travelled over an hour and with very little notice to make this booking happen for him and he had the rudeness to cut it down without informing me but trying to make it seem that he had every right to do that because his choice was not there.

Am obviously not going to make sense of this any further so I will stop my waffling but suffice to say I am annoyed at the client and my handling of this (not one of my proudest moments I think) and I know I will probably laugh about this tomorrow but tonight .. the overwhelming feeling is of relief that she is OK and how proud I am of one of my team to handle this with the calm and dignity that she did. Well done sweetheart …. you know who you are :-)

ADDENDUM : SUNDAY MORNING : Just woken with this still on my mind but a clearer head. What I should have realised and considered was that when someone is in the wrong then of course they try to bluster their way out by being angry and getting others to back down. Silly I did not realise this yesterday but when you are in the middle of someone who is angry your first reactions are always to think its because you personally have done something wrong. The client must have been embarrassed because he knew damn well that he had not told me he was reducing the hours but then when I questioned his reaction was to bluster and be angry and make me out to be the issue. I can put this to bed now realising that no matter what, yesterday would have happened because no matter which girl arrived the client was, in his way, having a temper tantrum because the girl he had booked had got appendicitis and the other girls he wanted were not available to him – idiot (me I mean lol)! Sometimes its takes me sleep to get my head straight!

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