Service With a "Dash of Jilted Psycho"

Salespeople and customer service providers often make the cardinal mistake of focusing on their needs rather than their customers'. Poor service almost always results, though it comes in varying degrees from annoying to completely absurd to the latest entry, "Jilted Psycho".

First, a note on customer focus. The way a cashier hands a customer their change says a lot about their customer focus. If the coins are on top of the paper money, the cashier is "me-focused" since they scooped the coins out of the register till first and simply dumped everything in your hand. The cashier is likely customer-focused if he/she puts the coins in your palm first and then places the bills on top so the change doesn't go flying out of your hand. Check out this cool primer on how to make change (all cashiers should be taught this).

Jilted Psycho. This is an actual email exchange between an interested car buyer and the car salesman. The names have been changed, but everything is very real. See if you can spot the "me-focus" in this exchange.

Salesman's Email:

Good afternoon Steve,

I am a little confused. I thought you wanted to deal with me and you wished for a new Explorer, but I see you stopped in today and dealt with another salesmen Jim on an Expedition? Did I do something wrong? Do you wish to deal with Jim or someone else? Are you no longer interested in the Explorer? Expedition? Please advise.

Mike Lester

Customer's Reply:


I stopped in, he saw me and offered to help, all I wanted to do at that point was test drive an Expedition. It wasn't about dealing with you or him, it was about just getting a test drive in to think about it some more. I hadn't done so before and thought I would just check it out. After the test drive and thinking about it, i still want to get anExplorer. If you want to help me that's great, i'd still like you to find the Explorer for me.

Just do yourself a favor dude, look at the e-mail you sent me. Not exactly the most professional thing I've ever seen. It's a bit intense, some pressuring, accusatory with a dash of jilted psycho mixed in. If I didn't want to work with you, this note would not be winning me back. Fortunately for you, i still want you to find an Explorer for me, let meknow when you have something.


Car Salesman's Reply:


I would agree with you to some extent. I am glad and understand sort of needing the test drive, but just do me the favor and ask for me. I would like to take the time with my customers and other salesmen get bent when they are with someone else's customer. Not saying Jim is one of them. I can understand and agree to some extent a quick note that may offend a consumer, but that is was certainly not my intention. I feel comfortable dealing with you, so I had just asked quick questions, as I was also confused when I asked Jim if he was able to help you and he could not clear much up. Now he is under the impression you wish to find an Expedition from him. I can explain to him though. Now if I did not know you that much, I would agree with you my email was a bit harsh, not downright rude, but harsh. I just cut to the chase as I thought you would not appreciate the long banter (which I am embarking on currently). Anyway I am glad you were not offended. I would never wish upon that on anyone let alone yourself.

The only issue with going with an XLT is they offer tan or light greyinterior. To be honest it does not look black. The eddie bauers are tan interior. I overheard we have a black interior eddie bauer in dark cherry coming in. I have not seen this one yet and do wish to take alook at this set up. I do think that its gonna come in with a tan interior but black flooring and ceiling is my guess. I hope I am wrong and its all black though. That would be nice looking. Did you get the limited emailed Saturday morning? That was all black and a limited with desired options in 2008?

Thanks for your reply,

Mike Lester