What working in Customer Service has taught me about myself

Customers are Ignoring You

Customers are Ignoring You (Photo credit: ronploof)

  • Customer Service jobs suck. They really do. I’ve learned to make the best of it by being on the other end of the phone. By being a customer not the service rep.

When I think of “outstanding customer service” quite a few things come to mind. Working full time in a customer service position, I’m sure my views are different than most. I expect at the least courtesy. That’s not just a part of customer service, it’s a basic human expectation. I also naturally, expect to have my concerns listened to and to be able to voice them.I work for a major cell phone provider. I won’t say which one, but I will tell you that I do not own a cell phone from this provider. With that said, I’ll tell you my views on customer service.

Those folks who also toil with me in this field may understand a bit better than most why being courteous is important both as the customer and from the representative. What I enjoy most about my job is being in a supervisor role. I don’t have as many guidelines to follow, and my ratings from the customers are quite a bit higher than they were before I got promoted. I also like the fact that I am first to be called upon for shift changes and things of that nature.

But what I really appreciate are the “little” things that being employed in the field,  and having a high ranking position have taught me. Simply put: When a customer is on my line, and they are rude, words cannot express how little I feel like helping them. When they act as if I have a vendetta against them because their bill is past due and I need to collect partial payment because we haven’t gotten one in over a month. It’s too much for you to pay just a portion of what you owe? Maybe the partial payment needs to be a bit higher then.

Sure, I have guidelines and rules that I need to follow. But you also needed to make a payment last week.

Today I had a startling realization. I called my provider because I needed to set up an arrangement, and I was on my lunch break. I was in a hurry and frankly, I was being a bitch. I was yelling at the automated machine, hurrying the Rep through the call when a light bulb went off in my brain.

“Oh my god” I thought, “I sound exactly like one of our customers.” I apologized to the lady and asked for her supervisor. When he came on the line I told him to make sure he let the representative know that she went out of her way for me. I gave her glowing praises and told him she deserved a raise. It felt so horrible to speak to her that way, and it seemed like the only way to make things a little better. Later, when I got a text message asking me to rate her, and I gave her a 5 out of 5.

I understand now how easy it is to get upset when you are pressed for time, and how hard it is to stay calm cool and collected.

Let’s hope I remember that the next time I have a mother on my line rushing me through the steps wanting her phone turned on while on her lunch break.


2 thoughts on “What working in Customer Service has taught me about myself

  1. Pingback: The only purpose of ‘customer service’… | Kelly Business Advisors, LLC

  2. Thanks for the read, I took up a position recently at a national phone repair centre as a full time customer service rep and I feel the same. One small thing a customer says can make or break your day – and we get a lot of animosity from our customers (mainly due to the volatile nature of repairs.

    We use a courier service which manages to lose a customer’s device at least once a week, and as you can imagine, it is not fun to explain to the customer over the phone.
    But yeah, having to call up that service and open an investigation for every lost device gives me good practice with patience and helps me see what it’s like from a customer’s view.

    If I was in any other job and had to call a courier for the same thing, I would be pretty angry but this job has taught me that even when a person is to blame, it’s almost never the service rep I’m talking to, and therefore they deserve full respect and patience.

    A good article. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s