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How Can I Help You? Let Me Count the Ways….

January 15, 2013

I’ll admit it. I used to be that belligerent person in the check out lane who wouldn’t hesitate to fight about the slightest thing that pissed me off. And have pity on the poor customer service rep that had to deal with me after receiving an errant bill in the mail after my four children went to school. I would much rather have sat on the phone all day raising hell than do eleventy loads of laundry and clean piss off toilets.

It’s true what they say: Karma is a bitch. Because now I AM that person who takes the calls of unhappy clients. It’s my fault when your call isn’t returned, or when I can’t give you free advice over the phone because I’m not qualified, or when you walk in and I can’t get you an appointment right at that very moment.  Oh, and the girl before me did my job way better than I ever could (and sometimes they think I am her – in which case I will say it’s Julie’s fault – sorry Julie, love ya. Mean it!).

So anyhoo, I’ve devised some tips to help you, my faithful (three) readers, achieve exceptional customer service should you find yourself in need. Feel free to send me money, in case I get fired and stuff.

1. Be nice to me. I’m not the reason for your problem. I just answer the damn phone. But I can help you get a faster response if you make me feel empathetic for you. And chances are the person who called before you hasn’t been nice at all and even just the slightest bit of niceness from you will be so appreciated that I might just go a little out of my way to help you out.

2. Learn your phone number! I know you don’t call yourself a lot. Thing is, I don’t call you a lot either so I don’t have your number memorized. And even if you do call you a lot and I do have your number memorized, I will still ask you to tell me your number because I’m human and I may or may not have dyslexia. And I have a lot of things going on so I can’t stop and look up your number in the client database. If you know your phone number, someone who can answer your question will be able to call you back sooner! Rocket science, I know.

3. Voicemail. There’s so much to cover. Maybe voicemail should be its own separate blog. Eh. I’m a working woman; I’ll break it down for you:

a)    When leaving voicemail, speak clearly and s-l-o-w-l-y.  Take a breath between the digits. I can only write so fast. Shocking I know, but not everyone has Caller ID. You want called back, right?

b)   Set up your voicemail! I can’t leave you a message about your important appointment if you haven’t.

c)    Check your voicemail often.  If it’s full…well see B.

d)   In the odd chance you have set up your voicemail and it’s not full and I do leave you a message, LISTEN TO IT BEFORE YOU CALL ME BACK!! More than likely the voicemail I’ve left you covers EVERYTHING you need to know. If it doesn’t, then you can call me back.

e)    Believe it or not, some of us still rock it old school and we don’t have voicemail.  We like the client interaction. It’s more personal and stuff. It makes us both feel warm and fuzzy that a real life person is attending to our needs instead of a cold, heartless machine. So it’s OK to tell me what your issue is. I won’t spill the beans and the more we know, the faster we can help you.

4. Be patient. I’m a human. I can only answer so many phone lines and attend to real life people at the same time. The huffing and puffing you do about it taking me so long to help you only flusters me and lengthens the time it takes me to help you. I’m doing the best I can; I’m not making you wait lengthy times because I enjoy it. I would like to get your issue taken care of as quickly as you would like, too. Trust me.

5. I know you mean well (or do you?!), but don’t call me sweetheart, sugar, darling, or baby. That’s reserved for those private times between two people who know each other intimately, and me making an appointment for you is not an intimate moment. It’s demeaning. It’s especially disturbing when you are considerably older or younger than me. Stop it. It’s creepy. Do you tell your mother “thanks sweetheart!” when she washes your britches? I didn’t think so; so don’t say it to me. Oh and by the way, that applies if you are a man or a woman. The end.

While this list isn’t exhaustive, it gives you some good starting points in dealing with your local receptionist, bank teller, server, etc. Try ‘em out and let me know if heeding my word helped in any way. And if you’re in a service position, add to the list. Maybe we can educate the community and make our days seem more like the actual 8 hours we work instead of the 12 it feels like now.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 24, 2013 12:22 pm

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

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