The Art of Customer Service

The customer is always right.

A.k.a The biggest lie in all of history. If you actually believe this phrase, you have never worked in a customer service job because it’s just not true.

I’m not saying as a customer service worker you shouldn’t strive for customer satisfaction. No, of course not. You’re being paid to be helpful to people who will partake in whatever service industry you work in. You want them to come into your work establishment because their purchases indirectly pay for your salary.  Being friendly and helpful is what creates job security in the customer service industry.

Also, being rude and mean is just not what the world needs right now. A little kindness can go a long way and make the day far more pleasant.

Too bad your kindness isn’t always returned, especially when you work in customer service industry where you can get screamed at for the incorrect price of lemons even though you didn’t set the price, just typed the code into the system, and the customer was looking at the wrong sign.

The customer is not always right. They can insist all they want that they know how the system of the store you work at works or how pricing works, but the fact of the matter is that it’s honestly a fifty-fifty chance that the price was actually wrong. Quite often, a misread sign, tag, or contract causes a seemingly normal person to fly off of the handle at  the customer service associate who has no real power in the grand scheme of things.

The problem is that people do not like to admit they are wrong, and they will fight you no matter what to avoid admitting they were incorrect or straight up lying about the problem. Even if they are right, they try to directly blame the cashier for the error.

Especially in retail, people love to fight and argue with the poor cashier over anything. That poor soul gets paid minimum wage to get berated for something out of their control.

Customer service is a rough job.  It ain’t for the faint hearted. Many quit after they get screamed at for a “wrong price” by a middle aged suburban soccer mom. For those of us who make it past the first few weeks, we’ve learned to paint on the customer service smile and speak in the customer service voice anyone who works in the industry can speak in.  We learn to be unknowingly passive aggressive in customer service.

Disney employees have the best defense for rude customers allegedly. Apparently, “have a magical day” is code for telling someone off.

In customer service, you learn key life lessons about how to deal with people who are unnecessarily rude and mean. You learn how to keep your cool under so much pressure while maintaining control.

Most importantly, you learn how to stand up for yourself, especially in the face

Like I said, I worked customer service for about eight years. At first, I was so timid that I’d bend to anyone who raised their voice or caused a fuss.  I left my last customer service job after eight years of working there and grown quite a thick skin. I learn how to calmly but firmly explain myself in an argument without losing my cool.  I learned how to fight for what I knew was right and to be confident in my own professional knowledge and abilities. You may think you are right, valued customer, but I’m going to take the steps to verify the information you are giving me and inform you kindly but calmly why I cannot act in accordance to your wishes.

Anyway..

Be kind to the customer service workers. A lot of the younger teenagers are on their first job, full of hope and belief that people are kind.  They have no power over how things ring up or why something is out of stock. Quite often, they are little more than scanning calculators that ring up your purchases

Just like like, dear customer, you are not always right.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s