Performance Communication

Are you THAT customer? The one employees hate?

Are you THAT customer? The one employees hate?

I understand that everyone has bad days and one day’s actions might not be a true reflection of that person.

I understand that you can’t know what else might be going on in someone else’s life that could cause them to behave badly.

I also understand that dealing with customers who are schmucks comes with the territory when you work in customer service.

But really people, can you just try a little harder NOT to be the customer that all employees hate? Who they dread seeing come in the door? Who they fight to avoid having to serve?

Here are some signs you might be THAT customer!

1. You answer a call (non-emergency) or talk on the phone the entire time a store clerk is trying to help you.

Just stop it. If your call is so important, finish it before you ask for help or get in line to check out.

2. You correct a clerk who is just trying to help you- just because you’re in a bad mood and want to be right.

Customer: Do you have a lost and found?

Clerk: Yes we do. What are we looking for?

Customer: WE are not looking for anything. I AM. ME. NOT YOU.

Again, really? Just let it go- the person is trying to help you find your lost item and you’re going to correct the way she asks how she can help you? Get over yourself.

3. You have no idea what you want or need when you walk in the door of a business and then have the nerve to be annoyed when the employee can’t help you. 

“I’m looking for a book for my niece’s birthday. It has a blue cover.” Then, despite the 167 detailed questions the store clerk asks you (Author? Title? Genre? Picture on the front?), to which you have no answer, you get annoyed AT HIM that he can’t find the book. Perhaps you should be more annoyed with yourself for not doing a little more homework before getting in your car and going to a store. Doing so would save you and the clerk a lot of time and aggravation.

4. Putting people on hold when YOU initiated the phone call. 

Basic telephone etiquette requires that when you initiate a phone call, you are consciously choosing a time that is good for you to talk. It is not okay to call a place of business and then “get distracted” because you need to put something in the oven  or someone is at your door and then have the nerve to put the person you called on hold. If something comes up that’s more important than the call you initiated, apologize and call back later.

5. You overplay your “Victim Card” and want blood for any service failure.

I agree with you that organizations that fail to provide the service they promise should be ready and willing to make things right with their customers. However, if you’re one of those customers who demands that your ENTIRE TABLE gets their meal for free, or in fact, even if you demand that your meal (including the 4 glasses of wine you already drank) is free because your steak was underdone- you’re being a jerk. It’s fine to ask for a new steak. It might even be fine to ask for the cost of the steak to be deducted from your bill, but don’t take it too far. If you bought 10 items at a store and needed to return one, you probably wouldn’t demand that you get a refund for all the other items you kept, would you?

How about we all agree to make a little more effort to be nice to those who have the tough job of serving the wide variety of customers they probably meet every day. Agreed?

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