Author: Dara N. Griffey.
Few famous quotes in the world of customer service which captures its true essence:
- “Customers feel better when their complaints are handled by someone who appears to have a high standing in the organization”- Robert Townsend
- “In dealing with community groups, you must allow the groups to have a pound of flesh in the first meeting (let them shit all over you). Once they have voiced their anger they’ll be more trusting” - Kirk Hanson
- “Perception is all there is. If the customer think he’s right, he’s right”- Tom Peters
EVERYONE HATES CUSTOMER SERVICE!!! Everyone, let it be Employees, Managers or Customers have hated the customer service they received at least once in their life (if not often). I’ve been on both sides of the problem; I know how it goes. I’ve heard customer complaints, I’ve had complaints as a customer, and I can tell you horror stories about terrible, horrible, no good, very bad customers. And then you search Google or Youtube for “customer service” and what comes up? Stupid customer service training videos with people that apparently never have any problems and never stop smiling… yeah, right. So, this is my own personal little rant about customer service and helpful hints for both employees and customers.
Let’s take a closer look at both sides of the problem.
First, from the employee’s standpoint: Customers are sometimes rude, stupid, and at times just mean. Customers have honestly made me almost burst into tears at work (I held it in until my break). At the age of 17 working as customer service rep, a 50+ year old man was taking me to the cleaners. I felt as if I was physically being assault by him in order to receive a $5-off coupon. He relentlessly cribbed and cribbed about having to wait for the coupon to be emailed to him. He found more illogical reasons to put more pressure on him. I was not happy during the call and felt that people can sometimes get very insulting to save as little as $5. Not that I do not value money, but the fact that the customer did not do the needful within the stipulated time they get into the blaming mode. Another such instance was when a customer left a pair of jeans in the fitting room with urine all down one leg. That’s disgusting!! Such an action, ruin “customer service” for everyone else and put employees in a bad mood for the rest of the day, sometimes longer.
This summer, while I was working in the retail industry, I repeatedly had to inform our customers about the current sales or hand out coupons, the inherent message that we were asked to think about was – “I don’t care if you are planning on buying anything or not, I’m trying to save you some money. I’m here to help you, and if you ignore me, don’t complain to the cashier that no one gave you a coupon, or no one told you that if you bought that item you got one free. You should have listened to me! Also, if you are a customer with a question, feel free to ask it, but don’t fight an employee about the answer… The customer isn’t always right, sorry. Basically, the rules of being a good customer are summed thus: what goes around comes around. If you’re a crappy customer, you get crappy service, and you deserve it. I don’t care about your money. It’s probably not enough to pay for the lifelong therapy I will need after dealing with you.
Now from the customer’s point of view: I don’t care if you’re in a bad mood because some random thing happened to you that have nothing to do with me. “It is your job, so suck it up and just do it”. Especially if you depend on tips or commission, you should at least be polite. I am a middle class, small town, 21 year old girl with expensive tastes. That doesn’t mean you can glare at me for not buying your $500 dress, or treat me like scum because I’m wearing my favorite ratty old flip-flops. FYI, you’re working at a store, not sipping cocktails by the pool at your mansion, so get your nose out of the air. I realize that these are the same stereotypes that I’m subjected to as a retail employee, but it is my belief that stereotypes exist for a reason. If you don’t want to be stereotypical, then you have the choice not to play into it. Then people might actually see past the stereotypes and learn to work together.
Both parties are at fault for this hatred of customer service. And, although they hate to work together, they must in order for customer service to work the way it is intended to be. So here are some more rants and tips, as well as a video of how customer service should, and can, be.
From which side have you experienced customer-service? Have you been treated really well/badly by a customer service rep? Or, if you work as a customer service rep, have you been hassled by a rude and arrogant customer before? Let us know (When, Where and How?)
Here are some more thought provoking customer service quotes:
- Bill Gates: Analytical software enables you to shift human resources from rote data collection to value-added customer service and support where the human touch makes a profound difference.
- W. Edwards Deming: Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them.
- Michael LeBoeuf: A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.
- Henry Ford: It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.
- Zig Ziglar: Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.
- Peter Drucker: The purpose of a business is to create a customer.
- Bill Gates: Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
- Walt Disney: Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.
- Jonathan Alter: If Franz Kafka were alive today he’d be writing about customer service.
- Peter Drucker: Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.
- Peter Drucker: The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfied customer.
(Reference for the above quotes: About.com)