Customer Service Agents are People Too.

I’m a huge creature of habit and as such I start each day with a cup of coffee, the local news and my laptop all fired up so I can begin working right from my comfy bed.

I really can’t pin point when I started to notice this phenomenon but I can definitely say that I have become increasingly aware of the fact that there are a ton of really angry people walking around.

I see it on television. I hear it on radio talk shows. Someone inadvertently mis-speaks and all of a sudden social media explodes, fists are raised in anger and that person is forced into hiding until the next poor fool puts their foot in their mouth.

I hear it in my tiny corner of the world. People going off because their coffee was made wrong, the mail came late or because the dry cleaner didn’t press something to their liking.

When was the last time you let a car scoot in, in front of you in traffic? Or let someone with one item go ahead of you in the supermarket line? Do you say please and thank you? Or do you just grunt when someone hands you your breakfast sandwich?

At WGC we’ve also been victim to a number of mean spirited emails and twitter rants. Telling me you hope I “choke to death on my frosting” or “to shove that stupid cupcake jar up my a**” is not okay. My mother used to say if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything. Please. Don’t.

People who work in Customer Service have one of the toughest jobs in the world. Customer Service agents become the unwitting punching bags of the over-stressed, over-worked and an increasingly nasty public. I see it and hear it in our own Customer Service Department.

A couple years back, UPS lost a cargo plane in a horrible crash. The two crew members were killed. We knew this would mean lost product and customers would need to be taken care of. We posted our condolences on Facebook and asked affected customers to call. We promised to make it right immediately.

Unbelievably, a woman called us screaming that, “That crash better not have disrupted my order.” After all, she had a party the next day. Really? Two families just lost loved ones in a horrific manner and she was calling us in a rage? Ugh.

Look. We all get angry. We all have bad days. We’ve all been in some form of a bad mood. That’s fine. But if you feel you have been wronged and want to have the situation corrected, I beg of you…Please. Think before you speak. You are about to engage in conversation with another human being. Someone who has feelings, emotions and who may have just made a mistake. You don’t know what kind of day they may be having. They might be sick, maybe they have experienced a recent loss or they’re just not feeling it that day. Cut them some slack. Make your point in a kind and concise manner. It’ll mean a whole lot more. People will go that extra mile for you, if you’re kind. Trust me. Oh and news flash, more often than not the customer is the one who has made the error…Just sayin’.

I’m certain there is no vendetta between you and your mailman. I’m pretty sure your barista doesn’t conspire against you and I’m really certain that we don’t intend to annoy you with a weekly email ad. At the end of the day we’re all trying to coexist, earn a living and get along.

As we enter into this busy holiday season, please remember to check your anger at the door. Stop emailing in caps and take a deep, thoughtful breath before you speak. Remember, none of us are perfect and that includes me and you. Let’s try to reverse this whole nasty, negativity trend. It takes the same amount of energy to be nice as it does to be angry. And the bottom line is you feel a whole lot better when you’re kind than when you’re not.

~T    As always, please feel free to share! #smallbusiness #customerservice #bekind