Welcome to my new little series The Pulse On. I love in depth discussions about the world and things that happen in it. I have a lot of opinions and love hearing other people’s points of view. In this series, we’re gonna get right into the nitty gritty and discuss the important stuff rather than the usual fluff and rainbows I post (not that there is anything wrong with fluff and rainbows). Some topics will be tough, some topics will reflect modern-day society, some topics will be controversial but I would love an open and honest discussion. The words I write in this series are my opinions and just that: opinions. If you disagree, that’s great and we can have a polite debate in the comments section, I would love to hear how your opinion differs. I want this little corner of the internet to be a great place to share points of view with no judgement.——
One of my new favourite things is listening to podcasts on the drive to work. I have recently found Get It Off Your Breasts which is a female-led discussion podcast hosted by Emma Gannon and Lliana Bird. The hosts and their guests discuss modern day issues in unfiltered conversations which are raw and honest… I totally love it and find their discussions so refreshing. In one episode, they discussed customer service, how we view and act towards those who work in customer service. I could relate to absolutely everything they said.
Having worked in customer service since the age of 16, I know both sides very well. I have worked in shops, a bar, an opticians and now as a holiday representative all of which are customer focused and involve direct contact with customers. I find working in customer service very frustrating and often comment that I hate people. As a face of the company, there is always internal frustration when you have to be polite and professional to someone who is just downright rude, stupid or wrong. The customer is always right so they say but that’s a load of bollocks, the majority of the time, the customer is completely wrong.
The problem I have found is the dehumanisation of customer service workers. Rather than seeing you as an individual person who is just doing their job, you are seen as the company. For some reason, it is forgotten that you are actually a person with feelings and suddenly it is acceptable for people to be rude and sometimes abusive to you. Customers forget that you are just the monkey, not the organ grinder and you are just doing what you have been told to do. Fair enough, the customer may not like it or agree with it but you are just going with the motions of what you have been paid to do. You don’t have all the answers, you can’t make all the decisions and you don’t have the resolutions.
From verbally abusive men in the bar and being randomly called a bitch whilst tidying a table in a clothes shop to being screamed at and threatened to be slapped in my current job role. I have experienced it all within customer service and developed a tough skin but that doesn’t mean it is acceptable. In none of these situations had I personally done anything and rather than the customer understanding this, they took on a personal attack because they had an issue with the company.
From a customer service worker to customers, please be respectful and realise your problem is not with that person. There is no need to be rude or in worst cases abusive and we are much more likely to help you if you are calm and polite. If you have an issue or you feel annoyed by something, we totally understand that but from our point of view, please see that we are just doing our jobs and are actually trying to help you if you give us the chance. Even if it is us personally who have fucked up, please accept our apology and give us an opportunity to rectify the issue before taking judgement or lashing out. Basic human error happens, no one is perfect, everyone has faults and I bet you have made mistakes in your life too.
From the other side of the argument, I am not completely innocent. Whilst I have never stooped as low as some people to shout or be abusive to someone, I have been rude to people in customer service before. The person in the restaurant who took your order incorrectly made a mistake and will resolve it if you give them a chance. The annoying people in shops who pounce on you the second you walk in are just doing what they have been told to do. The people who put you on hold for ages are probably working hard to help you on the other side. Looking at it from a customer service workers point of view, I understand and appreciate all this but at the time, as a customer, I was annoyed, frustrated and off-hand. I was brought up with manners and taught to respect one another so this is not acceptable.
I think we could all learn to be more respectful of others, realising that everyone who serves you is a person not a robot and there is no reason to treat them as such. The thing that annoys me most about my job is the customers but if everyone was nice and polite, I would feel a lot more positive about getting out of bed in the morning. We, as a society, just need to have a bit more understanding, patience and be kinder to one another. The world and workplaces will be a better place for it.
This blog post is not sponsored or endorsed in any way. All opinions are my own and just that: opinions.