We’ve all seen it. You know what I’m talking about. Right? Standing in the check out line at your favorite super store (mine is Wal-Mart) wishing they had more lanes open instead of the usual five (that’s a WHOLE different subject). Nonetheless, you’re patient. You’re minding your business. And then it happens. The person in front of you flips the script on the cashier.
Let’s name the cashier Jimmy.
The discourse starts out innocently as do most customer service interactions. Jimmy asks, “How are you? Did you find everything okay?” You know. The usual questions. The conversation takes a quick turn when Ms. Super Save Susie doesn’t get to use coupons that expired four months ago. Triple S’s attitude flares up and burns Jimmy over the lack of savings (it was .50 cents!!). She leaves in a fine rage, and Jimmy is now giving you Charlie Murphy face.
Now, you have to deal with an unwarranted attitude. Awesome!!
In my customer service experience, I’ve learned people can be absolutely ludicrous if they don’t get what they want when they want it how they want it. We always focus on how the customer service associate should be doing their jobs instead of making their jobs easier. So, here are five ways you can enhance the customer service experience for everyone involved, yourself included.
1. Get off of your phone
Look, I get it. The line is long, and you need to pass the time. Or, you’ve waited for a table for what seems like 45 minutes (it was really 15, but who’s counting), and you found a hilarious video on Facebook that is occupying your time. I’m guilty of this very act. Here’s a tidbit though: customer service absolutely has to involve communication. There’s no way around it. You can’t communicate effectively if you’re distracted. So, get your head out of your phone and acknowledge the person talking to you. It will make for a better experience for both parties.
Suffice it to say, being in a customer service position is hard work. Take our cashier at Wal-Mart. Jimmy has to provide excellent customer service after he’s been freshly yelled at. How do you diffuse another potential situation? Smile. Let Jimmy know you’re not like Triple S. A smile can diffuse a lot of situations. Make sure it’s genuine, and you have now opened the door for effective communication.
3. Realize It’s Not All About You
What?? Customer service isn’t all about me?
Yup… that’s correct. It involves you, the worker, and the other patrons in the establishment. The way you treat the worker influences the other patron’s customer service experience and vice versa. So, give the employee a chance. They may be having a terrible day in their personal lives. You never know what they are going through. Being a demanding customer that thinks the entire business revolves around them does not help anyone including yourself. Don’t be that guy.
4. Don’t Berate the Worker
Servers. Hosts. Customer Service Reps. Retail Sales Associates. These people get told off All. The. Time. “Food was slow.” “I didn’t get my package on time.” “That’s not the price of this item.” Yadda yadda. These are among many things outside of the employee’s control. The aforementioned group does the grunt work. Appreciate them for it. Don’t chide them. As much as you think they have no clue what they’re doing, they know more about their job, and the rules of the workplace, than you. Howling at them over trivial nonsense gets you absolutely nowhere, and makes you look foolish in the process. Don’t do it.
5. Be Kind, Thankful, and Compassionate
Every kind, compassionate customer is cherished more than can ever be expressed. You are the people who make being in an emotionally taxing industry worth it. We WANT to serve you. Why? We know you’ll appreciate it, and show it. Every honest “thank you” helps to quell feelings of ill-will that arose from previous dealings with a Crabby Patty. Put yourself in the employee’s shoes. How would you want people to treat you?
Being a good customer is vital in your customer service experience. So, do everything you can to make the experience meaningful! The more you contribute by being nice and engaging, then chances are you’ll be remembered for your positive demeanor which makes for a beautiful customer service experience for everyone.
5 Comments Add yours
This post is very timely and it has great insight! I always strive to be pleasant with people I come in contact with because you never know what they are going through that day and it’s not fair (or mature) to take your own personal problems out on anyone. I smiled to myself while reading the suggestions in this post because I have a friend who is dissatisfied maybe 80% of the time when we go out to restaurants. The experience always ends up being disappointing from their point of view because “they can never get my order right” or “these people don’t know what they are doing”. The reality is my friend can be overly demanding and exude an attitude of entitlement with food service workers. They could easily be every restaurant worker’s nightmare because they want to super customize every dish and after it is made they find something wrong and send the food back to the kitchen. I always tell them maybe you have problems with restaurants because you are the problem. Needless to say this statement was met with great resentment but that was my point of view. Overall it would not kill us to treat service employees like we would want to be treated if we were in their position, so lets stop acting as though we are the sun and the planets revolve around us.
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You’ve summed it up correctly. I don’t understand why certain people are generally disrespectful with the service employees. Must be really difficult for them, dealing with such different types of customers. On top of that, they can’t really object because it’s a consumer driven world.
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I love you post. I agree with you will people in line on cell phone.