Everyone interacts with customer service representatives almost on a daily basis, whether you are calling your insurance company or picking up food through the drive thru.
Have you ever asked yourself when speaking to these employees, "Was I a good customer?"
We all know the importance of being a good customer service representative. If you have ever worked in retail, food service, or pretty much anywhere front facing to customers, then you have had that talk.
Some people when acting as a customer forget that it's not just the employees job to make a great experience. In fact these people in question forget that the employees they are speaking with are human too.
I have worked in food service, retail, and a call center and have found that by far the worst offenders are people who call in. They cannot see your face so you are automatically demoted to less than human.
Let's talk about some common misconceptions and questions you ask or should be asking yourself:
No one wants to help the a-hole.
If you answer the phone automatically screaming at the person you are talking to, they stopped caring. Their brain shut down to revert to a set number of pre-written phrases to say to people just like you. You are going nowhere.
This is the same for belittling, job shaming, and condescending folks. You start jabbing at the person trying to help you because you feel they aren't helping you fast enough? They shut down, stop caring, and definitely don't try to go out of their way to help you.
"Isn't it your job to go out of your way for the customer?"
No. It's not. It's our job to follow the policies we have in place. If you are nice, friendly and treat us with respect then yeah, we would take the time to see what could be done for you.
But if you are rude then policy is policy and no one is going to want to give you anything just because you started throwing a fit like a two-year-old.
Do you talk to your momma like that?
A good rule of thumb when talking to a complete stranger that is specifically meant to be there to help you is to ask yourself: "Would I speak to a friend or family member like this?" Or, "Would I speak to a co-worker like this and not get in trouble?" If you ask yourself these questions and the answer is no, then chances are you're the problem.
Are you an adult or a two-year-old?
Can you hold a professional conversation for five minutes with a stranger to get the answers you seek? Or do you scream for the impossible and interrupt the person you are speaking with constantly so that they cannot actually advise you?
Would you rather...
Have a nice quick conversation with someone there to help you?
Be on an hour long rant waisting your time, the time of the person you are speaking with, and not get anywhere?
Remember you are talking to another person.
It's common for people to forget that the voice coming out of your speaker has a face and a body and a brain attached to it. And that person also has a life and ups and downs and emotions. So when you scream profanities in their ear, call them names, belittle or dehumanize it hurts. So be kind. You wouldn't want them throwing insults at you, because you expect them to remain professional. You should set the same standard for yourself.