The Elderly – Good Customer Service Tips

673558_sign_1There needs to be a course on dealing with the elderly when it comes to customer service, and the reason I say this is because as we age we change and at times when we are serving the elderly we need to have special insight so that we can understand where they are coming from and be more sensitive to their needs.  The other day an elderly person told me a story of something that happened to her that was so upsetting that when she told me her voice started to shake.  The woman had been a client of a certain beautician for many years and had come to feel that she was friends with her.  Her beautician had been to her home and they had shared many life stories together.  My friend mentioned that she always paid her beautician at the time of service, she went to see her every week at the on the same day at the same time,  never bounced a check and always gave her a nice tip even though she owned the business.  Then a couple of weeks ago my friend received a call from her beautician early on a Tuesday morning (and my friends appointments were on Thursday) she told my friend that she was at the bank and noticed that the check that she gave her the week before was not signed and she wanted my friend to come down to the bank immediately to sign this check.  My friend was very upset by this because she forgot to sign the check and that this demand was being made of her.  But her husband told her he would take her to the bank right away and just to get in the car.  Once at the bank my friend signed the check, but then told her long-time beautician that she could not believe that she made this demand of her like she was some sort of criminal trying to get away with something.  She reminded her of the years of patronage she had given her and her checks were always good and that this was just a one time mistake and why couldn’t she just have waited until Thursday (two days later) and ask her to sign the check?  My friend got in her car and was beside herself, she not only felt like she had done something wrong, but she felt terribly betrayed by her friend.  I felt so bad for my friend, I suggested that she write this woman a letter and let her know how she felt and then find a new hairdresser.  What a sad situation, my friend felt like she was treated like a bad child, and this woman had no idea how to handle elderly customers and by not knowing she made a very nice woman feel inadequate, scared, and abused, which was totally unnecessary.  If you work with the public you probably deal with elderly people, there is a lot to learn from them and about them so that you can serve their needs appropriately. The article below has some good advice and insight about the elderly.  First you need to understand where they are coming from, treat them always with respect by helping them, but not over stepping their rights and boundaries, try to think what it might be like to be in their shoes and go the extra mile to make your encounter a good experience for all.

Understanding the Elderly

19 thoughts on “The Elderly – Good Customer Service Tips

  1. Very empathetic, Tina. In a former life, I used to have many senior clients and most were sharp as a tack! I had to remind younger staff that there were 2 things they should do when dealing with the elderly. 1) look them in the eye when in conversation and listen more than talk., and 2) to never misunderstand grumpiness to just equate to old age or to a person’s true personality. You never know what happened to anyone that day before they came to interact with you. Their mood may have nothing to do with you.

    Thanks for having a symapthetic ear for the elderly, Tina. After all, we’ll all get there eventually!

    Hania

  2. This article really hits home. My father passed away in August, leaving my 71 yrs. old mother after 50 years of marriage. A sympathetic ear is everything, we have actually grown closer since he passed & she is happy to hear from me each day.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. I work with elderly patients every day as well has having parents in their 80’s. We need to be sympathetic and lend a listening ear as you say. They are precious to us and are the link to our heritage.

      Thank you for stopping by.

      Tina

  3. enjoyed this – I just think some of the people who don’t deal well with the elderly need to be reminded that if they’re lucky and not rude, they’ll get there too – also, older people ought to have young understanding friends who’d be able to accompany them in any new situation

    • Hi Dean

      I agree with you wholeheartedly. It would be nice for any elderly person to have younger friends to be there for them. It always makes me happy when one of our elderly patients comes in with either one of their adult children or a younger friend who has adopted them. Thank you for you comment and enjoy your week 🙂

  4. I enjoy talking to those older than I, but sometimes I do find I have a bit of disconnect with some. Either in explaining my service or bantering. It’s a trial and error for me, but mostly good 🙂

  5. I deal with the elderly here where I work. They are smart but tend to use their age as an excuse to twist your arm. Most of the time it works but my patiemce can be very challenged. What I have learnt from my parents you have to respect them and find ways to get them to respect your work – they can be pretty stubborn too

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