Friday, October 8, 2010

Sorry, I Left My Mind Reading Hat At Home

Since I missed blogging yesterday, I thought I'd make up for it today by posting two =)

I work in customer service. I'm staring down nearly 30 years in customer service, the last 20 with my current employer.

Customer service is kinda in my blood. I knew from a very, very young age that "the customer pays our bills," thanks to a sign from my grandfather's store, that my grandmother had kept in her basement. He had instlled this idea in my mother, who once went to apply for a job as a clerk in a department store and wound up working at the bank next door. She eventually worked her way up to VP before retiring. And of course, this value was trickled down to me. Aside from baton twirling, it's the only thing I've ever felt that I was good at.

I really think having served customers in one capacity or another, has made me a better customer. I answer questions asked of me, I provide basic information willingly, heck, I'll demonstrate my twirling talent if I thought it would help me get assistance. I always willingly passed over my i.d. for checks, refunds, alcohol, even before being asked. I try to be cheerful and share kind words and speak respectfully to whomever is helping me. Because I knew, that for every easy customer like me, there were two jerks before me and two jerks after me.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm no push-over. I KNOW how a customer is to be treated as well, so when I recieve bad customer service (or customer service) I know exactly how to go about reporting just that.

As for my own job, part of relaying information from our customers to their representatives is gathering certain information. I am always amazed that a customer, calling for assistance, does not feel the need to give said information to help that process along. As a matter of fact, every now and then I have people reluctant to provide a phone number for me to access their account or have the rep to return the call.

Seriously people, if I were Kreskin, I wouldn't be working here.

I do not think that many people understand that sometimes they need to help me, to help them.

Here are some common responses I receive as a result of my information gathering:

"I've been a customer for xyz number of years"
That very well may be true, but that does not mean that I know who you are or what your account might be. Even customers that I have been talking to for all 20 years, sometimes have to remind me of who they are, or who they work for. It's nothing personal. When you take 200 calls each day, it's kinda hard to remember everyone.

"I already gave my phone number when I called earlier"
I don't ever remember my own phone number, do you think I'm going to remember yours?

"He/she knows me and/or who I'm with and/or why I'm calling"
Wanna bet?

"I don't have the confirmation number the CSR gave me last week"
Really? Do you realize how many calls were processed the same day you called? Now multiply that by a week (or maybe actually two). That's how many calls I have to look thru to find out the status of your call. Please don't become impatient and yell as I go thru them.

"My rep's name is John, I don't know, it's just John"
What are the odds we have only one? Heck, we've got 6 guys named Oscar. You do the math.

The list goes on and on.

Yes, I wear many hats in my job: detective, fireman, interpretor, referee, coach.

But try as I might, I always seem to leave my mind reading hat at home.

No comments: