Here are some examples of situations I have encountered:
- An employee verbalizing disbelief that he was doing what he believed to be a lowly job.
- An employee telling the store manager she was going to be forced to get drunk because of an altercation with a customer (they were just chatting).
- Employees using sarcasm when referring to their employer.
- An employee putting blame on his supervisor for not taking action yet not taking action himself.
- Supervisors dressing down employees within hearing of customers.
- Employees not acknowledging a customer’s presence at a counter as they chat with other employees or employees as customers.
- Employee retaliation by failing to acknowledge customer or giving poor customer service when they have been proven incorrect.
- Employees complaining about each other, their supervisor, and/or the company they work for within hearing of customers.
- Employees gossiping while using no concern or consideration for customers in hearing distance.
- Employees talking on the telephone while waiting on customers or within sight and hearing of customers.
- Lack of vital customer account information on companies’ websites.
- Failure of call center employees being able to speak English well enough to avoid both parties having to repeat themselves.
- Employees closing out a ticket as “problem resolved” rather than continue to pursue a solution to the unresolved issue.
- Lack of even basic knowledge on the part of technicians engaged by telephone.
- Incompetence of call center employees.
I will acknowledge that many of these employees are just starting out in the work force, however, it is my opinion that customer and employer loyalty and pride should be an important part of company training programs. Employees do not seem to recognize that every job they do is a stepping stone and training ground for the next job. As Danny says, “If you are going to do the job, don’t complain, if you are going to complain, don’t do the job.”
When I was in high school, my first job was at a pharmacy grill. The pharmacy was having difficulty keeping the job filled. I worked hard on customer service and went the extra mile cleaning the grill and every other part of the work area when I wasn’t busy. The pharmacy managers and owners were so pleased that they made an effort to keep me on when I was forced to quit due to transportation problems.
In adulthood, I had a job where there was heavy filing. I had a busy workload so I would go in on the weekend to file in order to keep the filing caught up. Sure, I was being paid overtime but I was also giving up personal and family time. I didn’t complain because someone had to do it and I knew I was very skilled in getting and keeping it done. That manager was unhappy when I transferred to another group as well.
My father had a dedicated work ethic and as his daughter, I followed in his footsteps. I believed that if I was going to take a job, I had to do the whole job regardless of what it entailed. I didn’t believe in having someone constantly tell me what to do and how to do it. So is it wrong to expect everyone to perform by the same yardstick? Perhaps my being a rule follower clouds my judgement or perhaps there are extenuating circumstances. However, isn’t that why there are procedures and rules? Don’t they help to prevent unhappy customers and aid in time management?
It’s all too easy to just walk away and complain to your spouse, neighbors, friends and families. Yet, I believe that you don’t have a right to complain if you don’t do something about it just as you don’t have a right to complain about an elected official if you didn’t vote.
I make every effort to be a pleasant and patient customer but I have to admit that my frustration shows when my expectations are not met and expectations are resentments in the making.
How do you feel about the customer service you are receiving?