Madness is not a requirement for this position, but it helps!
Welcome back, Chatterfolk. Today, I want to discuss various things I see or have seen in the Customer Service field.
1) The customer is always right… right?
The answer is only correct if the customer says “Man, I’m such an idiot!” or “I’m acting like such a jerkoff today!” but rarely is the customer actually right when they use that phrase. They’re basically trying to bully you into giving them their way… typically during an in-person encounter. It always makes for a fun scenario!
2) Hi, my name is (insert name here) and I…
a) Have been a customer for a long time.
This usually means that they have goofed on something like let a coupon or gift certificate expire and they are looking you to do them a solid by letting it slide or are trying to get free product by working the system. A “long time” customer potentially knows the tricks of the trade and uses them to full advantage. A school supply company I used to work for (terrible company who doesn’t deserve a name mention) had order/account history on customers and without fail in patterns you would see original order, then a week later a no charge replacement, then another week later one more no charge replacement, and then finally a credit (if the dollar amount is low enough, they’ll just tell you to hang onto the product with no questions asked). This would go on for years with these customers. Essentially, these schools/daycares/offices were getting 3 of the same product for the price of nothing.
b) refer to themselves as a “Top Customer” or “Best Customer”…
These customers will put you in that awkward conversation of asking for coupons and money off just because they label themselves as a top customer. I think there should be a rule of thumb that if you’re denied for a discount more than twice, the CSR should be able to yell at the customer with no hard feelings. I understand that everybody is living tight these days, but organizations need to make money to stay afloat too! Just saying…
In closing, the reason why I’m writing this is because I’ve found myself doing this lately and I must admit, I’m a little disappointed in myself. The same things that irritate me, are the same things I do when I’m on the customer end of a phone call. Don’t get me wrong, I rarely talk on the phone outside of work, but I make sure to work all angles when I am on the phone. If I get really desperate, I threaten with turning the company in to the Better Business Bureau. I actually pulled this card last night due to a $20 charge on my Chase card (that I hadn’t activated in 5 years) that “went through” because it was a small dollar amount. I replied to them with “if it’s such a small dollar amount, then you’ll have no problem in eating it”. Boom goes the dynamite!
Final Thought: The reason why businesses are hiring people who barely speak our language is because of people like myself and you who try to weasel a couple of bucks out of organizations. These people from overseas are like a rock (no emotions), and can use the language barrier to their advantage when there is a difficult customer on the line. Even the “top customer” type who will stay on the phone longer to try to get an extra dime out of you will be dying to wrap the call up. Nobody wants to be on the phone with somebody when you don’t understand half of what they’re saying. Am I right?
Save Room 4 Love,
Brad (The Chatterbox)