We are all human which translates into we are all human and we may very well make mistakes. It’s not like people wake up every morning and tell themselves, “Hey! I’m going to make mistakes today to piss people off!” because quite frankly who in the world likes to make mistakes on purpose? I sure don’t. I have worked in various customer service jobs over the past 10 years and I can tell you one thing, it ain’t all rainbows and butterflies. It can actually be the quite opposite.
I throughly enjoy doing what I do because I love helping people. There’s something fulfilling you get out of making people happy. However, something I have learned over the past ten years is this: you cannot make everyone happy all of the time. Don’t get me wrong, the goal of anyone working in any customer service job is to make people happy, but sometimes it can be difficult to please everyone. You will deal with people that are irrational, but you have to put yourselves in their shoes and help them understand and work through whatever issue is bothering them.
Most of my experience comes from the restaurant spectrum of customer service. That side is definitely not always pretty. When people tend to be hungry they tend to be grumpy. Let’s just face it, that’s the cold hard truth of the matter. However, as humans and as a society we need to remind ourselves that, like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we are not perfect: we are human. With Thanksgiving being a week ago I have already witnessed several examples of individuals being irrational with customer service individuals and the situations being handled as they should, very calm and collective.
Without patience, or at least some extent of patience, it would be near impossible to make it in the customer service industry. It is honestly not for everyone, and I have witnessed this first hand and it never ends well. Part of that was the person working and the other part of that was the way society has painted the picture of expectations for those of us that work in the field. The expectations and standards keep rising, and people keep forgetting the people working are not robots and we are not typically the ones that set the rules or the prices.
For instance, as a bartender I am not going to give you free drinks, seeing that I could lose my job, so therefore you should not ask for free drinks and cause a ruckus when I hand you your check and you don’t really want to pay the tab. I will kindly respond that I do not make the prices for the top shelf liquor you and your significant other chose to drink, I simply just make your drinks and make sure you have a wonderful experience while visiting our restaurant.
Something that crosses my mind frequently when I have had any bad experience at work is if that person has ever worked a day in a restaurant, retail store, or any other job that requires dealing with the public directly. If you have worked in a restaurant for as many years as I have, or even longer, it is usually pretty simple to pick out individuals that either haven’t worked in this area or they have and didn’t last very long in the position. Honestly, I feel like everyone should have a little experience working in a job that requires dealing with customers. It really makes you well rounded!
We must remind ourselves that we should treat others the way we ourselves want to be treated at all times. This is something I live by, because I like to be treated with respect because I treat all guests at any job I have had with respect. I am a person to. I am not a servant because I work in the customer service industry. If we remember to put ourselves in the shoes of the server we have at dinner, or the call center representative that only tries to help you with whatever concern you may have, then the experience we will have will be great on both sides. As Aretha Franklin would sing, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” Treat everyone with respect!
What are your personal thoughts on the customer service industry? If you have experience in a customer service job has it helped you throughout your future career?