Respect those on the frontlines of customer service – Metro US

Respect those on the frontlines of customer service

Remember when working out relationship woes involved visiting a therapist who taught you stuff like, “I hear you saying this,” or “When you shout at me it makes me feel sad.”

So why is it when most of us show up at the returns counter or put a phone to our ears, with a customer care rep on the other end and a kid’s cellphone bill in our hands, we revert to our first therapy visit — but with more extreme anger management issues.

It’s not like we haven’t been set up. Who came up with the idea that local or weekday calls should cost more than long distance? Who invented a voice recognition system that can’t recognize my voice?

All of this nonsense created by the sadistic technology warlords has produced a new underclass of abused people — customer care reps (CCR’s). One recently confided to me, “I don’t care if this call is being taped. When people yell at me, I go home and bawl my eyes out. I don’t set policy but I can help people with their problems. However, if they’re rude out of the gate, I’m not going to.”

Recently, I returned a defective camera battery to the store. Initially, the young female clerk told me, ‘Sorry, it’s after 30 days…”

Instead of yelling, I sighed about my daughter’s disappointment in not being able to photograph a girls’ weekend. Suddenly, I was her mom. Sooner than you can say, “Can I have the keys to the car” she waived that 30-day policy.

Weeks later I had a similar human-to-human encounter. Set to do battle with a major department store about a faulty clothes dryer, I was thrown off balance by a pleasant sounding clerk in Belleville. Immediately I imagined her to be named Verna, whose husband had left her so she was stuck in this job. Instead of yelling, I beseeched her, “Just listen to my story.” Soon, she was imagining me as her next door neighbour, whose husband had also left her and my bank account was $200 richer.

Which brings me to my conclusion — treat people like humans and they’ll do the same back. And if I forget, I’ll remember these words, “When you charge me 35 cents a minute for a local call, it makes me feel sad…”

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