How May I Help You?

What ever happen to customer service with a smile? I will even take good customers service with a scowl. If that means that

when I ask you a question about your company’s product or service you actually know what I’m talking about or at least know how to direct me to a source of more information. I particularly love when I’ve researched the information on a sale or a discount and call the store or customer service to confirm the information and they tell me something totally different than what it is clear as day on their site. What’s really funny is when you tell the new sale person about a previous conversation you had with another customer service person and they apologize that they have goof balls working for them, but they would be more than happy to sell you the same product at a higher price. Customer service has gotten so bad that once I had a Time Warner customer service person hang up on me when I caught an error in my bill. I remember it like it was yesterday, when I told him about the error on my bill he started to stutter. I then heard two sounds one of a grown man talking like a teething baby and then the sound of a dial tone. If you like that story here is another one for you. I attend a local gym in my area and one Saturday I decided to take a trip to the gym since I missed one of my regular days during the week. The gym is supposed to open at 9 am on Saturday – it didn’t get open until 9:45 am. I complained to one of the employees of the gym about this and she told me that I was whining like her ten year old. If you think that I’m exaggerating or over reacting to the poor customer service we receive every day then I would like to challenge you to go into any McDonalds and order any burger that comes with cheese. Once you have done that ask them not to put cheese on it. I want you to stand back from the counter in amazement as the sweat beads race down their foreheads. You would think you were asking them what the square root of any number is. Lord help us please to learn how to give each the same service we would want for ourselves -wait …I think he just put me on hold.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. mganou says:

    Loved the ending line! Great job dguest!

    1. dguest01 says:

      Thanks mganou for the comment.

  2. jtinari says:

    I totally agree with your opinion on customer service. Retail has become increasingly stressful, especially when shopping around the holiday seasons. But, I do have some opinion of my own to add. I actually work for a retail toy store, and I work at the customer service desk. Let me tell you. I have found my first grey hairs at the age of 20, and I will swear to you it is because of working at customer service! It is much different then working at a regular register or cleaning up on the sales floor. Customers expect you to know everything, do them favors, and simply accommodate their every need. And I mean every. As a customer service employee, I’ve had to clean up after people and their children when they open snacks and leave crumbs on the floor, get yelled at for not having a napkin (excuse me, this is not a restaurant), and told I was racist because I wouldn’t mark a toy down by $5 (there was no reason that I should have marked it down). What I’ve found is that people like to take advantage of the system, they ask for unwarranted discounts, coupons, and throw fits just to get $2 off their purchase. They want you to mark something down just because the box has a small dent (even if the product is fine) and will not back down until it gets done. But, the customer is always right? right? I like to think of it like this, the NYPD provides a service, so, if their customer was always right, what would our world be like? It would be a mess !

    Unfortunately, people forget that businesses have to uphold certain standards. There is a return policy for a reason, and if everyone was able to eat a cheeseburger and get their money back afterward because it “didn’t taste good”, that business wold make no money! The problem really comes into play when the internal structure is weak. Managers and employees don’t relay messages properly, so they are simply uneducated. Maybe this is the reason your gym opened up 45 minutes late. But, what I have found is that people misunderstand the policies of a lot of these businesses, and won’t back down just for the sake of being right. For instance, in the store I work in, our return policy allows for a 90 day return for certain items (excluding electronics) if and only if that item is in like or new condition with the original box and instruction manual. It also states that items that do not meet that requirement can be denied for return. So, a couple came in the other day wanting to return a baby stroller. It was within the 90 days, but they did not have a box, and it was clearly used. Their child was sitting in it as they walked it! It had stains on the seat from normal baby wear and tear, and the wheels of the stroller were all chewed up from use. On top of that, what they said was broken on the stroller was clearly not. So, I politely denied the return, to which point they insisted that I take it back. I must have explained to them 50 times why I could not take it back, but they didn’t understand. In situations like this, it is hard to keep calm because people don’t want to admit they are somewhat wrong. And more importantly they want their money back! I can see why people give nasty customer service sometimes, but I agree with you that a simple smile is recommended. Just know, its hard to keep composure when so many people are trying to get over on you, and while you have your manager down your back trying to make you keep up with company policy. Though, this is no excuse to be so outwardly rude that you make the customer feel like they want to punch you in the face!

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