Customer Service 101 – Allowing Contempt to Creep In

Customer Service 101 – Allowing Contempt to Creep In

Customer Service is a Skill
Treating Customers with Contempt

This is one of my pet peeves.  It’s something I really don’t like but I’ve seen it happen over and over again.  When a business hires a new person that person needs to be trained.  There are all kinds of things the person will need to learn especially if they have never worked in that field before.  Schooling only gets you so far.  You will need practical knowledge on how the business actually runs.  Depending on what you do, it can take years to become really well versed in your job.  Sure you will have functional knowledge before then but to really know what you are talking about and how the industry works is something you will continue to learn over a long time.

The problem comes in when dealing with customers.  Let’s face it.  Some customers can be extremely difficult regardless of whether it is intentional or unintentional.  A lot of the time they just don’t understand what the employee is telling them so they keep asking more questions hoping that something will clarify their confusion.  This is when employees can start getting frustrated and angry.  Their responses can start becoming short and sharp.

As an employee you need to take an emotional step back.  You need to remember that before you were hired you didn’t know anything about the process either.  You need to remember that you were taught how things were done.  That teaching probably included on-the-job training, maybe various training seminars put on by the company, instructional documents and various other methods all aimed at increasing your knowledge of how the business runs and how things work.

The customer didn’t get any of that.  The customer is dependent upon you telling them what they need to know.  If they don’t feel they are getting the answers they need then they will ask questions.  There have been many times I’ve heard employees talking about how dumb a caller was.  And there have been many times when I have stepped in to say, no, they’re not.  They’re just not trained the way everyone here was.

There is no room in customer service for contempt.  If you feel contempt for the people you are supposed to be helping then you are not a good employee.  If they don’t understand what you’re saying it’s not their fault.  It’s very likely yours.  Odds are high you just kept repeating the same thing they didn’t understand in the first place.  Try saying it in a different way.

If you are having a hard time getting out of the rut of frustration, think of someone you care about, really care about.  Think of the kind of help you would want given to that person whenever he or she reaches out for information.  Would you want someone treating him as if he was stupid?  Would you want someone being emotionally abusive towards him?  No?  Then do your part to make life easier for people and treat them in a way you would like your loved ones, and you, to be treated.