When did the “Customer as Enemy” become accepted behavior? I’ll do anything, ANY THING to use e-mail or even (sigh) snail mail, to avoid having to talk to someone whose job it is to help me.
In the grocery stores and some retail outlets they’ve caught on and told employees to be nice, dammit. On the phone, anything goes.
I had to make a call this morning to a customer service representative at a financial institution. About 60 seconds into the conversation I had to say, “It’s clear to me that you don’t like your job. I’d like to speak with someone else who actually will help me. I would like a lot less attitude and a little more help.” Since the woman had just given me her NAME and extension number, she had to apologize and the conversation continued.
Years ago on Letterman he was speaking to an airline attendant in the audience. She unapologetically said, “the customer is the enemy.” I never forgot that and years later am finding it to be increasingly true.
So, what do we do? I start every conversation with a smile in my voice, try very hard to communicate clearly, and to be pleasant throughout the encounter. But don’t we get to a certain age after which we shouldn’t have to be held responsible (or hostage) for the bad day someone else has decided to have?
I’m going to continue to do what I did this morning — ask to speak with someone else, and keep asking until I’ve gone through however many someone elses there are. What I’m really going to do is increasingly rely on e-mail and voice mail to try and stay in my bubble and not have to talk to anyone I don’t know or like.
Seems reasonable. It’s my bubble, I should be able to let in (or not) anyone I choose.
If you don’t agree with me, I’d like to speak with someone else.