let me be the first to say it: i’m not the nicest person in the universe.
now just as a little disclaimer, right up front, i work in a customer service field. it’s not easy but here’s how i handle it: i assume that everyone is going to be pissy right from the start. going off of that, i am as nice as possible to everyone because that REALLY drives the dickish people crazy. try it sometime. when someone is being a complete bitch about something or really getting in your face, just be as nice and helpful and empathetic as you possibly can. trust the turtle, it’s a lot of fun. plus, it keeps you from getting drawn into the whole drama because you’re humming ‘three little birds‘ in your mind the whole time.
here’s the problem, though. i work in a customer service field. i know how it’s supposed to go. i know what you’re not supposed to say and do. so when i call customer service i expect to receive, i don’t know, CUSTOMER SERVICE. no company gets it right 100% of the time. no company gets it wrong 100% of the time. but you should at least try, you know? telling me “i don’t know” and not offering to find out or even get someone else to find out is not helpful. not listening is a big one. making up an answer because you think it will work is really not helpful, either.
so the reason for this post is that i’ve been having a lot of problems with my phone company lately. yesterday was an unhelpful conversation with two agents with an end result of the second agent telling me that he didn’t know but recommended me waiting three hours then removing my battery and sim card and seeing if that solved the problem. ummmm. no. way wrong answer. but, and here’s the good customer service part, when i tweeted my frustration (just out there, no @, no #, nothing) the social media team saw my tweet, reached out to me, and is now acting as a go between to get the problem solved. now how cool is that? i know that it’s probably a program that brought the tweet to their attention, but they saw it and responded to it and are taking action on it. and that’s how you do customer service.
next. we have three cell phones in our house. mine, my husband’s, and the ghost phone. the ghost phone doesn’t have a text or data plan because it’s just for calls. i had data disabled when i got the number & texts are pay-per-use. today, i got a text from the phone company telling me that i had used $50 worth of pay-as-you-go data and they were going to disable the data until the next billing cycle. wait. what? it’s been sitting on a shelf and can’t use data. so i call them and explain it and all they want to talk about it what the computer shows. okay, that’s fine but i’m telling you the data is blocked on your end and the phone’s settings don’t even have data access turned on! six times i have to go over this, all the time telling them that i’m not paying $50 for data i didn’t use (i have unlimited data on my smart phone you guys!).
after a 20 minute conversation and i don’t know how many explanations the second person i spoke with finally got it. apparently, they had removed the data block from that line at some point. they’re reinstating it at no charge and waiving the data charge already on there. and noting the account that the line doesn’t use data just in case in happens again. and that’s how you do customer service.
was i frustrated during these calls. yes. did i allow that frustration to show in my voice tone, inflection, and volume. yes. yes i did. did i say at least three times during the call, “you’re not listening to what i’m saying or maybe i’m not being clear,” oh god yes. did i want to throw the fucking phone across the room? a thousand times, yes. but the end result is what ultimately matters, and even though i’m frustrated and annoyed at least someone at the company made an effort to listen to what the problem was and try to fix it. and that’s all you can ask for in customer service. and it’s what everyone in customer service should be doing. that and humming ‘three little birds’ in their head.