The Customer Ain’t Always Right

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I know people who regularly ask for things that they know are not allowed or things that are specifically not offered because they think the rules don’t apply to them-or even just because they try to try. What I don’t accept is when people get pissy when they don’t get their way even when they know it isn’t an option.

What I do think is that both sides need to figure out what the customer needs and either provide that service to the benefit of both or find another service provider who can provide that service (without operating at a loss regularly) for that person. Or use them as a guinea pig to see if you can offer that service reasonably. If a customer wants to just put you out of business for sport, they should be put out of my misery. That’s unacceptable behavior.

If a customer is having a bad day, fine. But don’t take it out on a service provider. It doesn’t make you right to be an asshole just because you are a customer.

When I was working at Apple in tech support I got the occasional rollover customer service call. People treated this phone number as a place to spew their blackened, evil souls over someone who had to sit there and take it and be gracious about it. Quite frankly, I wasn’t hired to be abused (although some people would argue that being on the phones at all should be covered by the Geneva Convention) I was hired to solve peoples’ problem with their Macs. And I generally did (draped temporarily in the pelt of a customer service rep) the person went away happy with their problem fixed. And truly, 99% of the time it was a fixable problem, but the outsource vendors who originally took the support call couldn’t think their way out of a wet paper bag and probably just sent these cases to customer service out of sheer laziness… so no wonder these people were pissed. Incidentally, this was 10 years ago, so I don’t know what the state of Apple tech support is now. But back to the point, if I was going to have to sit on the phone and take those vitriolic calls all day, I told my manager I would go look for another job. Thankfully, he didn’t make me do too many of them and let me groove on what I really excelled at… and I did excel. I *closed* 40+ cases per day with high satisfaction ratings. People went away laughing (I had them do the “printer dance ” with me, I had them reminding their printer that they loved it and lo and behold, it printed again! I jollied people through their issues. I gave a shit.) and we were fine.

But force me to say I’m wrong because some cheap bastard wants a freebie and he knows that behavior that would have gotten him a spanking when he was 4 but now gets his ass kissed is not acceptable.

Forget it.

“One woman who frequently flew on Southwest, was constantly disappointed with every aspect of the company’s operation. In fact, she became known as the “Pen Pal” because after every flight she wrote in with a complaint.

She didn’t like the fact that the company didn’t assign seats; she didn’t like the absence of a first-class section; she didn’t like not having a meal in flight; she didn’t like Southwest’s boarding procedure; she didn’t like the flight attendants’ sporty uniforms and the casual atmosphere.”

So reading all of that, why the hell did this woman fly SWA? That’s exactly what they are known for. It would be like her going to Chuck E. Cheese’s and bitching about the noisy atmosphere interfering with her dinner… and why isn’t there veal piccata on the menu?
Grow up America.
Stop behaving like petulant children.

Employers, start valuing your employees and invest in good ones. We are not disposable… and on the other hand, employees, get off your ass and start focusing on your job.
If you ever wonder why things are being outsourced its because employers are not seeing the value of an on-shore workforce.
Help make us an asset again.

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One thought on “The Customer Ain’t Always Right

  1. Amen Brudda!

    I, too worked Customer Service for Electronic Arts and it was amazing what people tried to pull on us. Fortunately, I adopted that same philosophy of making people laugh.

    Yes. I hated the job, but I was (unfortunately) good at it….until that one day I had a total Asshat “get to me”

    I was dismissed because of that stupid 99 year old axiom “the customer is always right”

    in this case, the customer was actually very very wrong, being petulant and childish….he was 46 years old.

    My outlook? – public spankings for shits like this.

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