Thursday, February 16, 2012

Customer Service

Working in customer service over the phone is interesting. I often hear from many lovely people who aren't nearly so upset that the IRS is having problems (again) and their refund is delayed. They accept that the company I work for is not responsible for the problems.

Then there are the ones that ask if they are getting a refund. They are frustrated and upset that their refund is not available (we've moved past most of the ones who want it urgently, which is nice). They are upset that they still have to pay full fees to us, despite recognizing that we didn't cause the problems they are currently facing. These people are not so fun to work with.

They seem to think that customer service means we can change anything for them and fix any problem or answer any question. They don't stop to think that we probably only have limited information available to us. We don't get told what all the fees are or what they are for. We don't have the answers to their questions. Or if we do, they aren't the answers they want to hear.

It's frustrating for us. We are just as frustrated as our customers that their refunds haven't gotten here yet. We aren't cheering that their refunds are delayed. We like saying "Yes, come in. Your check is ready." It makes us happy to give people good news.

Please treat people in customer service, in any industry, with some basic decency. We are probably on your side to start off with. We want to solve your problem or at least try to make your feelings about the company that employs us less unhappy. And remember we have heard your complaint probably a dozen times, we feel agree that X sucks and we'd like to change it, but that is not always possible. Cut us a bit of slack.

Sincerely,
M.A.

P.S.: I did not have a particularly bad day (other than the IRS info), but this is good info for anyone who is dealing with customer service to remember. Most of us don't get paid enough for the stress that customers put us through (I'm only barely earning over minimum wage).
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