I’m going to tell you guys a secret.
Well, first of all, some quick background. I currently work in a very customer service oriented job. Most of the jobs that I’ve had, in fact, have involved some kind of customer service work. Whether it’s been taking orders and serving drinks at a local coffee shop chain, to answering phone calls and walking customers through online software like I do at my current job.
So, with that background, here’s the secret:
YOU SHOULD BE NICE TO CUSTOMER SERVICE EMPLOYEES
Obviously, there’s the simple human decency aspect of this. Just because the person you’re talking to is a disembodied voice on the other end of a phone, or is serving you coffee from behind a counter, doesn’t mean they’re any less of a person than you are. Treat them with respect, and remember that you are just one of dozens, if not hundreds of people they are forced to smile at and be nice to every single day in order to receive a wage.
But in case you’re not a proper, decent person, and need a little extra motivation to be nice to the customer service workers you interact with, let me give you a little more incentive.
If you are nice to me, I will be nice to you. And not just in the fake way that I’m nice to everyone else.
I deal with so many people that get angry or frustrated with me, even though I have absolutely no control over what is making them angry. If something is frustrating or complicated to you, and you’re extremely nice and polite to me anyway, I will bend over backwards to help you.
Just the other day I was helping a person who was in a really awful situation. They called me at 4:50pm, ten minutes before I was supposed to leave work, asking all kinds of questions. But despite the fact that the only information I had to give them was bad news for them, they were still incredibly nice and polite, even apologizing in case they sounded frustrated and clarifying that they weren’t upset with me.
I stayed on that call until 5:15 trying to help them as much as I possibly could, and even gave them the direct line for my phone so that they could reach me rather than my team at large if they needed further assistance. And I still think about that person regularly and try to brainstorm more ways that I could help them.
So yeah, be nice to your service representatives. It’s worth it.