LEAPING TO CONCLUSIONS
Leaping to a conclusion means that, in
your opinion, you already possess sufficient
facts upon which to base your judgment. As
a result, you end up ignoring additional
information provided by the customer. This
tendency is often caused by a lack of concern
for the customer and the desire to end the
contact as quickly as possible. It may also
occur because you normally have a better
knowledge of your field than does the
customer, and you may assume that you know
the customers need before it is completely
If a customer has a vague idea as to the
nature of a problem, you should not jump to
conclusions. This does not help the customer.
You should use tactful, skillful questioning to
properly identify what the customer is trying
to tell you.
Occasionally, you may experience an
adverse reaction to a customerto his or her
appearance, speech, or attitude. Because of
your reaction, you may not be able to provide
the quality of service that the customer needs
or deserves. Most often, the cause of your
adverse reaction will be the customers
attitude. When the customer is overbearing,
cynical, or has a smart mouth, it may be
difficult for you to maintain a professional
Nevertheless, you must remain
Customers who have bad
attitudes are also individuals who deserve the
same courtesy and respect as nice and
You must also be aware of your feelings
regarding a previous episode in which you
had to deal with a difficult customer. You
will remember the customer who gave you a
rough time on a previous visit. Do not let
this memory affect your response when you
are called upon again to serve this customer.
Showing your feelings may give you some
temporary gratification, but it will not solve
your problems with this customer and it will
have an adverse effect on your performance.
Stereotyping is forming a standardized,
oversimplified mental picture of members of
Stereotyping involves a fixed or
general pattern that is attributed to the
members of a particular groupdisregarding
In stereotyping, we form
mental pictures of people, things, and events
according to the classification or group in
which we feel they belong.
Consciously or unconsciously, we may
have gone to a lot of effort to build up these
stereotypes in our mind to make it easier to
Some of these stereotypes
may carry such labels as race, nationality, sex,
religion, length of hair, and many others.
Stereotyping eliminates the need for us to
know the person as an individual. How
convenient it is to have these ready-made
niches in which we can place the person and
thereby know all about them. But what an
injustice this is! This implies that the person
is no different from anybody else in the same
group or category.
This in itself is bad
enough, but it is even more offensive when
that person is placed in a category that we
regard as inferior, and we, in turn, reflect this
opinion in our attitude toward the customer.
There are several types of language
barriers that interfere with effective
communications. Some are cultural, some are
physical, some are habit, and some are just
intended to confuse you.
The barrier may
exist because of the customer, you, or both.
The first two barrierscultural and
physicalare the most difficult for the
speaker to overcome.
Persons for whom
English is a second language often have