I have decided that 90% of complaints about customer service are from people who treat customer service people like they are little more than poo on the bottom of their shoes. Almost all of my dealings with customer services have been positive. If you are simply polite, well-spoken, and know what the crap you are talking about before you call, the customer service reps will usually treat you well.
When I started writing this post, I was on hold with a Cingular customer rep named Andrea Jackson. She was absolutely fantastic. She even called my father-in-law to get information from him because I couldn’t (because my cell phone wasn’t working; hence the call to Cingular customer service). She was friendly the entire time, went out of her way to fix my issue (which was actually their issue), and got my phone back up and running in a matter of minutes.
I used to work at Best Buy, which entails a significant amount of customer service, even though everyone there is a salesman, not a customer service rep. But I suppose because we work at Best Buy everyone assumes we know the inner-workings of each individual piece of hardware. Anyway, the people who talked to me like I was a decent human being, not a piece of dried poo on their shoe, were much easier to work with, and honestly received much better customer service.
When someone is on the verge of cussing you out when they walk up to the counter, it makes me much less likely to want to meet your needs. Granted, we should care for all customers like they are totally awesome, regardless of their emotional state. But it’s just a plain fact that a disgruntled, nay, livid person will receive less-than-enthusiastic service. Why in the world would anyone be livid about a cell phone anyway? Get a freakin life. And really, what’s one little angry customer among the throng? Nothing. They have no power. They cannot threaten (though they try, bless their little hearts) with any kind of real force.
I know that we who have done customer service may not have gone through the anguish, turmoil, and emotional storms that you the customer have gone through before vomiting it out on us, but please, remember that we are people too. We don’t like to get treated like poo, because frankly, we aren’t poo, we’re people. And the chances are good that while we haven’t gone through your hardships, we have talked to many others who have before we talked to you.
So the next time you’re calling customer service and you’re on hold and that recorded voice keeps saying, “you’re call is important to us” and your temper is boiling into the red zone of carnage, remember, they’re not poo, they’re people.
Being nice goes a long way.