The Truth about Customer Service

As technology evolves, the customer service experience becomes less and less about quality and more about quantity. Big corporations tend to care more about the number of people they are servicing and less about the level of service. Face to face customer service is easier to cope with because a level of social behaviour is expected. However, over the phone customer service is much more open, resulting in customers being more prone to speak their minds and express their frustrations in a less subtle manner.

Overall, customer service is not easy. You have to deal with happy, angry, abusive and hysterical people who don’t value the service that is being offered. People often assume that because they are speaking over the phone, they are allowed to say whatever is on their mind. This is because people think that call centre advisers are emotionless robots. Although it’s not everyone who acts this way, dealing with rude individuals is a common occurrence.

Life is stressful and we all have our problems, I understand that. What is not acceptable is being disrespectful to a stranger who is trying to help and offer a service. Please take into consideration that there is a human being on the other end of the phone. Call centre advisers don’t get paid the minimal wage to be someone’s personal punching bag.

So, is the customer always right? Whenever people talk about customer service, the first thing that comes to mind is the famous phrase, “the customer is always right”. From a business point of view I understand, the people selling or supporting the product have to align with its customers in order for them to continue associating themselves with the brand. As a former employee in the industry, I disagree. Some will make ridiculous requests in hopes to get more than what they can afford while others will use unrealistic arguments in order to make themselves look important but won’t have the relevant information or knowledge to back themselves up.

Difficult customers are a small part of a bigger problem. Advisers are closely monitored and micromanaged, resulting in a high turnover industry. At the same time, those places are notorious for sucking the life out of the individual in a short period of time. Call centre advisers quickly burn out from working nine hours, six days a week.

Those work places are not glamorous and frankly some people will use every other possible synonym in the dictionary in hopes to hide the fact that they work in a call centre. They deal with so much! From strict KPI’s to long hours and horrible pay checks. No one has the ambition to work in a call centre but it’s a great place for training. You learn how to communicate (something that people nowadays struggle with). Furthermore, you learn how to be patient and tolerate people in difficult situations. It’s not the best job but it’s a job that needs to be done because almost everything nowadays is an online service and the only mode of communication available when things turn sour is a phone call.

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