Since I was sixteen, I have been working in customer service. This article could go on with the various stories of the horrors of working with customers constantly and the times I have felt it was worth it.
"The customer is always right."
Sometimes, yes, but please, as a customer, people believe they are entitled to every little thing. Please understand that your cashier, server, driver, etc., has a heart, mind and soul too. There have been many times customers have broken down my coworkers, and it totally sucks.
Customers do not think they are phasing us, but trust me, your words can hurt, your actions stick, and it does eventually take a toll.
When being a customer, I try to provide some traits that I know the person helping me will appreciate because I know first hand that a little goes a long way.
Here is some "food for thought" for this holiday season with our internal thoughts shown by Ron Swanson:
1. Acknowledge Me. Please do not come in expecting to be rung out when you have your face glued to your phone and you don't even know I am standing right in front of you. Acknowledge my presence, be friendly. When I ask you how you are, please tell me how you are, we sometimes do not want to hear the generic "water with lemon." Or, do not just look at me either... I am not a mind reader, and I do not know what you want.
2. Be Patient. Sometimes, and most of the time, you are not the only table, only customer and only person seeking out my help. There are times when I am very busy, trying to multi-task and have to stay organized. I just hope that if it takes me a little longer than usual to bring you a refill of coffee, you do not take it out on me.
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3. Smile. Believe it or not, you will probably help us feel at ease when you smile. Walking up to a customer is discouraging when you see that they're unhappy or in a bad mood. If you laugh and joke around, your service will likely be amazing. I'm not saying I will give you terrible service if you are mean, but you will probably think the service is bad. I try hard for everyone, even if they are giving me a hard time. I look past a lot of things because I understand people have bad days. Work with me here. We're all human.
4. Thank me. I will go above and beyond for any of my customers. You realize I will get you as much ranch dressing as you'd like, right? There are times when I go back and forth to a table just because they don't ask for something the first time. I don't mind, just appreciate the little things we do in order for you to enjoy your time.
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5. Be understanding. I do not control certain parts of the restaurant. I'm sorry if it is too hot or too cold in there, I'm sorry if your food comes out wrong and I'm sorry if I can't change the T.V. channel. However, I put that aside and take the blame and apologize to you because the point of customer service is not to have the customer be angry and then to leave angry.
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When complaining, please do it before you finish your food. Because it is hard to believe you couldn't bare to eat it when you actually just did...
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Like I have said, we are all human. It is okay to be in a bad mood, it is okay to hate your service (because sometimes the service can actually be pretty bad), but if you can tell your server or whoever is helping you whether you're in a store, or cafe is genuine, why would you want to be rude or ignorant?
There are things that irritate me while working, but you have to let it not get to you.. you just have to grin and bare it. Customers can sense when you are angry or have an attitude and that is not something you want. You have to perceive yourself as happy, peppy, helpful, and an amazing server.
If you help us, we'll help you and will actually want to go out of our way to prove it.