The "Death" of Customer Service
by myswtghst - Posted Thu December 4, 2008 @ 3:59 PM
This is a work in progress, to be sure, but after all the complaints I've been reading on here lately, I have to write something. ^_^
Since when did saying a polite "no," following policy, or not bending over backwards turn into terrible / lousy / bad customer service? Since I'm only 25, I don't feel right saying "In my day..." but seriously, I feel like all of the above, so long as they're done politely, are GOOD customer service.
If a CSR bends policy for me, makes an exception, or stays late to help me out, I try to remember to come straight here, or to contact their manager, to let someone know what fantastic customer service I received. I'll tell my friends and family how great it was, and be pleased. But by no means do I expect this everytime.
I've spent years in various customer-focused jobs. I now TRAIN call center agents to assist customers. I have done work on a number of "soft skills" programs, about how to work with customers, even irate ones, and how to have pride in your work. And I've always told my employees not to be afraid of saying no, if that was the only answer available.
I'm sick to death of supposed "adults" who can't keep track of receipts, be bothered to read the fine print, or take responsibility for things they should. No one and no corporation is trying to screw you over, and it's rare that the employee cares about you out of all the customers they'll serve in a day, so no, it's not all about you.
By purchasing something from a store, I'm agreeing to their policies about returns / exchanges / etc. Once I give them my money, and take my item, transaction complete. And if I don't keep my record of that transaction, I don't see any reason why they should be obligated to do anything for me.
Sometimes, part of being a grown-up is taking responsibility. It's keeping track of receipts until I'm sure I'm keeping a purchase. It's getting a gift receipt to include with presents I give. It's reading all the fine print, paying attention to the policy I'm agreeing to, making sure I'm not getting into something I don't agree with or can't abide by. When I buy something online, I always verify the site is secure before entering my credit card info or use PayPal, and I always check the shipping and return policies to be sure they'll work for me - anything like clothes or shoes that I might want to return if they don't fit, I'll decide if I'm willing to eat the cost if they don't and I can't return 'em.
I'm not saying that rude CSR's, bad attitudes, or an unwillingness to work with the customer is acceptable. It's not. But people need to do their part too, uphold their end of the deal, if they want to get the best possible results. :)