Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The sad state of customer service today

(From 3/26/09)

A: (mumbled) Dom'no, pi'up oh dee-vee?
B: Wha...?
A: (mumbled) Dom'no, pi'up oh dee-vee?
B: Oh! Delivery, please.
A: Adds?
B: 300 A Street.
A: Pah-fa?
B: 4th floor.
A: NO, pah-men?
B: Oh! No apartment, it's a business.
A: Wha want.
B: I was trying to order the sandwich, chips, and soda deal for $6.99 online, but it won't let me pick the chips and it won't let me finish the order without them. Can I order with the same coupon over the phone?
A: Fi-teen dolla minmum.
B: Okay, that's not what I was asking, and I've placed an order for less than that before. Forget it. (hangs up)

Okay, so yes, I was "B," and yes, I was slightly rude at the end. But I am just SICK to death of the lack of customer service these days. In this economy (I hate that phrase, but I need to use it), one should feel lucky, PRIVILEGED even, to have a job. Would it kill them to at least pretend to care?

The sad thing is, no one else wants to do what they're doing, so they get away with murder simply because they are willing to do the job, usually for minimum wage. But what I don't understand is why people are too lazy to do their job well. Does it really take that much more energy to feign interest in the order, to enunciate words clearly and listen to the customer's needs? It seems obvious to me: do your job well, keep customers coming back, keep the company in business, keep your job. It's the apathy, the utter lack of effort, that appalls me.

I've worked in customer service in many different jobs since I was 16. I started at Michael's Arts and Crafts, worked a summer at Things Remembered, spent five years at the counter of a dry cleaner's, and been at a call center since 2006 now. Maybe it's because I studied theater and psychology in college, but I've never had a problem pretending to love my job. When I sound happy, my customer tends to be happy, and I have less problems to deal with overall. It's self-preservation, and makes my life easier.

To anyone out there in customer service: PLEASE, just try pretending to care. Pretend to like your job. Otherwise, it's going to be a very unpleasant experience for both of us.

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