I just had a work conversation with a friend of mine that nearly turned into a fight. Verbal, of course. I’d never hit her. (Hard. I mean, at all.) We were discussing an issue, and I told her people were looking into it, and then she started going on about how we were really going to have to tell our customers something because if we were going to do it this way, they need to know. I agree with her, except that in this case, we’re most likely NOT going to keep doing that thing. It’s not correct, and I’m sure the people who are looking into it are coming to that conclusion. So we don’t NEED to tell our customers every time we do it because we’re going to STOP doing it. I started to say we don’t need to warn our customers every time, but she interrupted me before I could say “because it’s a bug and we’re going to fix it” and got very heated about how it’s not okay NOT to tell them, and I couldn’t get her to stop long enough for me to finish my sentence. Then she stopped to breathe, I was able to get a word in, and we’re fine.
Yeah, okay, it wasn’t anything close to a fight. But it was annoying and unnecessary, and it’s a good thing she’s far away and this was a phone call. Or maybe that made it harder…
I don’t like to fight with people I know. I don’t really like to fight with anybody, but if you’re on my doorstep (or on the phone) and not listening when I tell you I’m not interested in what you’re selling, I will be direct and I will tell you to go away. Are you supposed to be providing me a service and you’re doing it badly? I will not roll over and let you (I am my father’s daughter). It’s situational, of course. How annoying is the problem? How seriously does it affect me? I usually don’t go all confrontational in restaurants out of worry that someone will do something to my food, and I don’t do it while driving out of fear that the nutjob tailgating me has a gun or something. Just about anything else is fair game. I work in customer service, so I try to be fair when I’m talking to someone else in customer service, but that also means that I know how it SHOULD work. I will switch companies based on that alone (and I have – I’m looking at you, Bank), but I will also let supervisors know when I get really GOOD service. I emailed United about the super-helpful ticket agent after their fiasco with the canceled flight to Orlando a few years ago, and Navy Federal and USAA provide consistently wonderful service. Why can’t everyone? I love ThinkGeek’s customer service, and I’ve heard wonderful things about Zappos (but I’ve never needed to deal with them). It’s really not hard, people. Is it telling that I started talking about fighting and moved on to customer service? Calling customer service shouldn’t have to be a fight!
I’m sorry. A small annoyance with a work friend turned into a mini-rant about customer service. It’s IMPORTANT, damn it!