Thursday, January 20, 2011

Customer um . . . service?

Since when does the term 'customer service' give people free reign to abuse, degrade, humiliate, demoralize, and psychologically destroy another human being?  And why is it that in the name of the almighty dollar, are the recipients of this behavior unable to defend themselves?

I've seen horrific verbal abuse directed toward a cashier who was simply acting according to store policy.  No doubt, if the customer would complain to the corporate store - the cashier would be found at fault.  For not providing good customer service.

Since when is it our right to take out our anger caused by our boss, our spouse, the weather, our mood on some poor human who is only trying to support him/herself by working at the only miserable job to be found. We treat customer service representatives like crud but then lament the fact that all of our jobs are quickly becoming computerized.

Money can buy anything.  Employers are more than willing, eager even, to sacrify good employees simply because they don't want to lose the business of some angry consumer who simply gets off on making life miserable for anyone they meet.  Who feels that he is entitled to unparalleled service beyond the constraints of company rules.  Where does this end? When all of the workers who genuinely are working because they love what they do, driven by the need to help others,have all been driven over the edge to the brink of depression simply because they are not supported by their employers and are treated like an easily replaced commodity?

Which we are, I know.  Easily replaced.   But in comparison, how productive is an unhappy employee - one who is browbeaten into submission and operates in fear of the next oversight. Or the next customer who happens to be having a fight with his spouse in comparison to an employee who strives to do his best simply because it is the right thing to do.  And yes, it is unfortunate that sometimes we won't be able to sell our product because we aren't all things to all people.  But do we need to be?

These are just more reasons that I love my little farm with my chickens, my horses, the Dolly Llama, Lunchbox, and all of the dogs.  Straightforward that group is.  If they don't like the type of service they receive they let me know.  Without a doubt. They may kick, growl, bite me or even run after me and peck me.  But we are clear on our expectations of each other.  It is a relationship that works and benefits each of us and by being mutually respectful, we know that we can expect nothing but the best of each other.