Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What's Happened to the Service in Customer Service?

By Cindy Pitts Gilbert  Buford Weekly Illustrated May 4th, 2016 

Sometimes people really amaze me.  Have you ever walked into a retail store like a Walmart or
photo credit:
Costco and you see 6 people behind the customer service counter and no one will look at you? You can be big or small, yet you are still a ghost.   We have all experienced it,  you look at each one of them really do the puppy dog eyes pleading, just look my way for a second, and not one single person looks your way.  It is as if they think that if they don't make eye contact, you aren't really there.   What kind of training in customer service skills class do they give these people.  Ok, today we'll learn how to avoid eye contact.  Sometimes I just want to laugh and wave my arms and say "Um ,Hello people I'm right here.  What they don't realize is the longer we wait without being seen the more frustrated we become.  Waiting like cattle, waiting for the person behind the counter to look our way and say, "Can I help you?" Then pray they help us or dash all our hopes for resolution.  It's not only the person behind a counter I'm referring to, how about phone customer service rep? When I need help on the phone; my cell phone provider, my bank, or the dreaded call to (insert scary music here,) the local cable provider.  My least favorite customer service nightmare is the rep who knows they can't solve my problem and they put me on hold. I hear the not so beautiful hold music and then silence. Really, I just got disconnected. You know at least 50% of the time that was no accident. They just didn't want or didn't have the skills to help you solve your problem so they hang up on you pretending that it was an accident.  I have literally had to call in and relive the same scenario three to four times.  The golden ticket is that sometimes we walk into an establishment and there it is a smile that lights up the room. Hello, Gorgeous! I'm not saying the person is magazine model perfection. I am talking about the person who gets it.  They are hired to do a job, take care of customers' needs. They get that customer service is all about, yep, you guessed it, service.  This individual comes in to work, leaves all their own problems at the door and offers you service that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.  I just want to hug this bright eyed or perky sounding human being who actually has me laughing with them make me feel like they truly care about making my problem go away and my day just got a little bit brighter.  I have worked in customer service in one form or another all my adult  life.  I believe it's a choice, not just a paycheck. If you don't like what you do find something else to do but let's all agree, not to take it out on the people who pay good money to keep you employed, our customers.

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