Per our friends at Wikipedia: “Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.”
I want to start this commentary on today’s lack of Customer Service off by stating three facts so that you, the Reader, can trust that I know what I am talking about.
1. I grew up at a hotel. Literally, I lived Customer Service and Hospitality from the age of three.
2. After college, I worked for the Walt Disney World Corporation and attended Disney University which taught the Art of Excellent Customer Service. Now, keep in mind that Disney isn’t just the benchmark for Customer Service in America, it is held in the highest regard in the entire World. The whole world. All of it.
3. I am a very nice person.
There. Those are the facts. Not opinions. Facts.
Now, here are some of my opinions. However, I do think they are also facts as well.
In the world today, I am shocked, amazed, dumbfounded when I receive good customer service. If someone smiles or goes above and beyond for me or treats me in a kind way, I can’t believe it.
Companies near and far, get your acts together!! If I owned my own company and I knew that one of my staff members was in any way, shape or form rude to one of my customers, they would get one warning. One. Not a slap on the wrist 57 times. One warning, “If I ever hear you speak to one of my customers like that again, you will no longer have this job.” The End.
This week alone, I have had horrible customer service from my Dermatologist’s Office, the hospital billing office, a Gap Store and a Target. This is just a tiny sliver of all the places I’ve had bad customer service at. I mean, basically every utility company that I have to ever speak with is the worst, pretty much every health care provider’s office, most beauty and nail salons, wireless companies, restaurants, city offices, retail stores. All. Bad. Like, really bad.
This is a hot button topic for me. I don’t know why the hell people who have low patience levels for other people work in Retail/Customer Service. Here’s the thing…if you work in any way for the public, you are going to come in contact with a-holes, stupid people and people like me, who just like to ask a lot of questions. Yes, maybe I am annoying because I want you to breakdown the charges of my stress test, but that is your job! Maybe I do want to reschedule my appointment for a Dermatology appointment and that’s okay! Maybe I want to check what the interest rate is of my credit card and ask if it can be lowered! Who cares??
You know how many stupid questions I’ve had to answer in my life being in customer service? 19 trillion. Like this one, whilst working at Walt Disney World, 20 people a day asked me, “What time is the 3 o’clock parade?” Do you think I said, “Are you kidding me, you idiot??” No. I said with a smile on my face because I knew this person wasn’t really thinking things through because they were SO excited for their trip to Disney, “The parade starts right at 3 o’clock on Main Street USA….and a great place to try to get a seat is right near the Tomorrowland.”
Listen, I know that people/customers can be jerks. They’re impatient, condescending, demanding. I get it. But if you have agreed to get paid for being in any way a Customer Service provider, you must understand this, be kind and be the face of the company that you are representing. I mean, really it just comes down to basic human kindness. Be the bigger person! Be kind! Don’t talk to me like I am putting you out. Smile. Try to connect with me on some level. People just want to be heard, understood, validated.
When I worked in the business department for Sprint, we’d get calls from business owners who hadn’t paid their bills and would be furiously frantic about their phones being shut off after 6 months of no payment. Do I understand why they are mad? Of course. No phones is not good for business. But, you should have paid your bill or called us to make some kind of arrangement! So now, you have no phone service, you’re panicking and you call me and literally scream at ME? And literally tell me that “You know where I work and you’re going to come kill me?” Wow. But, even in this situation, I’m not being an jerk to the customer. I’m simply transferring them to my manager. Let them deal with it.
I just can’t. I can’t deal with bad customer service. How many times have you called the number on the bill to ask a question and had to Press 1 for this and Press 4 for that and say the last for digits of your social and what your favorite pet’s name was in 5th grade, only to have them tell you that they will transfer you to the right department where you have to go over your life story all over again?? Too many times.
Bottom line is that I wish companies would really start to care more about customer service. Although, I have heard a story here and there about someone talking to a Disney Cast Member on the phone and they weren’t very nice, I would definitely put money down that that is a very rare occasion and it is handled swiftly and with great seriousness. Don’t F with The Mouse.
I wanted to give a shout out to a few of the places I’ve consistently received good customer service, maybe you don’t agree, maybe you’ve had bad experiences with some of these companies, but I’ve always been happy in my dealing with these folks:
So, thank you, good job and keep being awesome.
And of course, at any business that I have and/or will work at, you will receive the great Customer Service. 😉
So, the bottom-line of this post, if you are in Customer Service, be kind. Be understanding. Utilize the Golden Rule. And if you don’t like a-holes, don’t work in Customer Service. And, if you own a company, demand greatness from the people who are representing you.
Comment below with what companies have made you lose your ever-loving mind (in a bad way) and what companies have blown your mind (in a good way).
And from the Offices of TooFunnyChicks.com, we hope you have a great day and let us know what we can do for you now or in the future,