Many food allergies affect the family I cook for. So, yesterday, when I got the call saying that Mom's reading a book on Veganism, I started to hyperventilate.
"I think no dairy is crazy," she said.
I began to breathe again.
"But I think I'd like to try some vegetarian meals," she said. "What do you think we can have tonight?"
My brain was on page 18 of the customer service training manual I'd been writing about setting the right tone during customer calls. Not on vegetarian meals.
I had no words.
Do not let callers experience dead air. Set expectations regarding what you're doing, such as, "I'm going to do some research so I can better answer your question, so it may be quiet for a few moments, okay?"
"Um...uh..." I said.
"Um's" and "uh's" are symptoms of a lack of confidence.
1. Next time you answer a call, take note of how many times you say “uh” or “um.” Was it more or less than you expected?
2. How do you think “uh’s” and “um’s” make customers feel?
3. Make a point of consciously eliminating those symptoms of ill-confidence during future calls.
"Can I call you back?" I asked. It was the best could do.
Eventually, when I got my cooking head on, we settled on Eggplant Parmagiana. I made my Granny's recipe and it was delicious. But I'm a little worried. It's hard enough navigating the allergy land mines. Not being able to serve my clients meat may leave me recipe-less.
Which of course made me wonder about other people and their relationship with meat. How do you feel about meat? To eat or not to eat?
7 months ago