Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sat is fact—Shun!

Past Customer Service = “Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.”

Present Day Customer Service = Customer service is a series of activities designed to ignore and aggravate the customer – that is, if the customer requests assistance at a time deemed inappropriate such as personal conversations, lunch, lazy time or they just don’t feel like working.  

Over the past few years, I’ve come across this so-called thing called ‘customer service’ and I’m not really feeling it. ‘Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed”. Are they guaranteeing the customer’s satisfaction or their employee’s satisfaction in dissing the customer? The lack of caring exudes from these individuals, and it seems they traded in their smile for an un-lubricated butt plug because, let’s face it, that would make anyone disregard the needs of others.

I’ll admit that I worked in customer service and I wasn’t always the most…understanding individual. Maybe it’s payback time. But in my defense, I worked in technology and they refused to provide V2 –valium and vodka. When it comes to technology, there are certain things IT employees expect of people who work on computers every day of the year to know, like:

1)  Where the power button is located
2)  If you print something and it doesn’t print, don’t print 20 more times hoping one of them will get passed the black hole.
3)  If you receive a black screen that says keyboard failure, check the keyboard to make sure there aren’t any muffin crumbs, nail clippings or sunflower seeds stuck between the keys.
4)  Copy and paste—two things we learned in kindergarten—same idea, different technique.
5)  When tech support comes to your desk, be there to explain the problem and enter in your logon and password.
I understand that working in customer service is frustrating, but it’s amazing how indifferent and acceptable it is to outright act as if the customer isn’t even there. At least I gave employees a moment to explain their problem before directly or indirectly pointing out their faux pas. Like when one employee I worked with insisted her CD-ROM drive was broken—it wouldn’t play her CD. I popped open the CD player, flipped the CD right side up and the CD worked without a problem. Or when we were working in Windows 95 and an employee asked for assistance. I stood behind her and told her to go to my computer and she got up and started walking away. Dumbfounded, I asked her where she was going, and she said, “To your computer.” I had to point out the “My Computer” icon on her desktop. So you see, I understand the kind of frustration that comes along with helping some people.

But I don’t understand the girl, who saw me standing at the counter but turned her back and continued a personal conversation about her license being taking away. And then when I told her my sunglasses were right on the counter and I’d like to know what I owe so I could leave, shuffled over, shrugged and said, “I don’t know.” My response was, “Well, how about asking someone who does know.” She didn’t even notice the sarcasm…or maybe she did and ignored it. Either way, she took her sweet time walking the sunglasses over to another woman and asking.

For now on, when I come across anyone at a place of business who has an attitude or just doesn't care, I’m going to smile and say, “I can tell you really like your job” just to see their reaction. I might have to tweak it as time goes on.

Anyone else have witty responses to poor customer service?

Service and Attitude,


  1. Boy, did you hit the nail on the head with this one!

  2. I soooo agree with you! Poor customer servicwe is a bug bear to me. I waste no time in complaining bitterly and often embarrass my husband! I have walked away from many a shop purely because of it! As for IT service - don't get me started!!!

  3. Just to let you know I have highlighted your blog on my blog as part of my bloglights spot.

  4. At a former IT Admin, it's amazing having to call into a place like Dell to get my hardware replaced.

    Me: "My computer will not boot. I'm an IT Admin. I diagnosed my computer, and I can tell you right now that the motherboard is bad and I need a new one."

    Nahimajapidalidad: "Yes sir, that is wonderful. Now can you make sure the computer is plugged into the wall?"

    Me: "You're not going to make this easy for me, are you, buddy?"

  5. You think CS is bad. How 'bout phone trees? THAT REALLY gets me goin'. Then the, ah-hem, "individual" comes on the line and wants you to unscrew ALL of your cable connections. And they are all tight as can be and you gotta destroy half the house or crawl under the desk where it's pitch dark to reach the modem. And right away you hit your head and . . . and . . . REDRUM! REDRUM!! AHHHHHGGG!

  6. I was having a conversation about this very topic with my dad, who is a marketing guru from the day when customer service was everything. It comes down to; if you're not having fun in your job, how do you think the customer feels? So many people going into sales that don't absolutely LOVE connecting with people.