Thursday, June 6, 2013

Customer Service

Customer service is a field where you will either hate your job, or love it while experiencing both love and hate for people in the same day.

Having worked in the Customer Service department for the past 3 years I have to say that no other job is quite like it (though, looking back on that statement I suppose the same could be said for every field of work).

My point is, it is a unique experience that you have to have be built to do.  Whether it's through a call for tech support, working with people through email, or even more directly in a face to face fashion there are so many things that the individual acting as the customer service rep (CSR) has to keep in mind.

The customer doesn't understand your service/product the way you do (unless they've been doing business with your company for a while).

The customer will get upset at you if you mislead them in anyway (even accidentally).

The customer wants to hear confidence and been shown that you are knowledgeable.

Tone will make or break an interaction with a customer (this is especially hard to maintain and interpret via text mediums like email).

The list goes on.

The problem with Customer Service is that no matter what your job is, what title you hold, there is some aspect of customer service that everyone must exude.  Be it with other employees (yes, they can be customers too at times) or with clients of any kind.  No one is exempt from the rules that come from being a CSR.  However, those who work in some type of CSR position (help lines, tech support, order entry, retail, etc) know exactly how mentally tiring it can be to always be on guard with themselves.  

In case I'm not making it clear, being a CSR is incredibly hard work.  You wouldn't think so, but it is.  So please, as customers be willing to give us some flexibility and don't scrutinize every little thing like so many are apt to do.

That said, I have come across my fair share of poor customer service.

I don't care how you feel about someone.  I don't care if you don't like the melanin of their skin, the color of their hair, their appearance, their smell, or if you just feel "too tired to deal with it", there is never a good reason to treat someone giving your company business with anything less than the utmost respect.  

These people who are coming in are what allow you to get paid.  They are, in essence, writing your paycheck.  

On the other side of that coin, you represent the company you work for.  If you give that company a bad name by giving bad service, you will be terminated from employment eventually.

Yes, I know.

The customer is not always right.  Sometimes the customer will act like they have a vendetta against the human race.  Sometimes they will act like they have a 2nd grade education.  Sometimes they are incredibly particular or picky.

Deal with it.

That's your job.

If you can't handle working with a variety of people and treat them all equally with respect and general pleasant attitude then customer service is not the job for you and you should find another job that you'll enjoy soon.

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh.  I'm not trying to come across that way.  But I've always been of the opinion you should do a job you enjoy.  I understand there are the "crap" jobs we take to get by, but always be looking for the job you want. If you really want it, you'll get it.

I just feel like there is no excuse for some of the service I've personally received and others' stories (oh the stories!) make me shudder in dismay.  Being a CSR can be a thankless job but it is one that keeps businesses running!  That role is important, and thus is powerful.

So, it may not mean much coming from a fellow CSR but "hat's off" to all who work in the field.  I respect your work and request that you keep it up and not fall into the "poor service" category.

Just a few thoughts.

Grace and Peace.

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