Please don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of expecting excellent customer service. And having been on both sides of the situation, I would like to offer some insight.
Ever wonder why the people who demand that the customer receive the best possible customer service are the people who do not have to deal directly with the customers? Ever wonder why these same people, when a customer is insistent that they cannot be satisfied with a mere “clerk” smiles smugly when the manager reprimands said “clerk” for doing their job? I have.
Ever call a customer service line and are greeted with someone who sounds like they are reading an “I’m sorry I am such a loser” script? They almost sound as if they have “Plastic Person Disorder.”
My question is, why would anyone WANT to go into the customer service area in the first place. Dealing with irritable and demanding people takes far more patience than I could ever hope to have unless I was heavily sedated.
Why do we, as customers, seem to think when we enter an establishment or do business with a company that they are to lean over, pucker up, and start kissing our sacred hindquarters? I realize not everyone is this way, but I speak from the experience of this happening more times than not when I was working on the customer service side of the transaction. Management seems to expect this from those who deal with the clientele:
I was invited to lunch with a colleague a while back, who wished to discuss the possibility of my helping with a symposium he was putting together. We were greeted by a very friendly young man who took the time to not only politely introduce himself but had glasses of water in hand when he approached us. My colleague, who I thought of as a nice person, and to some degree still think that, was in a tense and unusually obnoxious mood. He told our server to mind his own business, bring us menus, and leave us alone to talk. Our server apologized, obviously flustered, and withdrew to attend to my colleague’s demands. Our meal was ordered, and we discussed the proposal, each time our server came close enough to be within earshot, however, my colleague took the opportunity to loudly criticize him, the meal, the cleanliness of the flatware, etc. Not only was I stunned by this behavior, but I was appalled. When the check came, my colleague grabbed it, scrutinized it carefully, and left this pleasant young man a single dollar tip. As we were leaving, he asked to speak to the manager and began to berate our server to his manager right in front of him. It was at this point that I had had my fill. I took my colleague by the elbow and told him to shut up. I told him that I was embarrassed because of his behavior AND embarrassed that such a polite server in a difficult job was expected to not only tolerate such asses, but expected to grovel and apologize for crimes he had not committed. I then informed him that because of such asinine behavior, I would be unable to take part in his symposium. It was at this point that the realization punched in between the eyes:
Permit me to make one thing perfectly clear: IF You Want Good Customer Service, BE A GOOD CUSTOMER! Now, I use Instagram. It’s an interesting program. One of the reasons I use it is to begin to openly applaud good customer service. When I interact with a business, I am going post the name of the company, the name of the person I dealt with, and publicly commend them for doing “their job.” How about you? Do you applaud good experiences, or merely accept that the person is “doing what they’re paid to do”? Put yourself in their shoes and treat them as you would want to be treated by them.