A Holiday Guide: How Not To Be A Dick To Customer Service
So it’s holiday peak season. I know Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday have passed, but let’s face it: until about a week before Christmas, the sales never stop. And it can be a really thankless job to work in customer service when everyone’s fussing and screaming at you, accusing you of theft, and god knows what else. So! I’ve found a solution.
For your reading pleasure, I’ve made a handy list on how to NOT treat customer service representatives during the holiday season. And in no particular order.
9 Don’tS To Live By:
1. Don’t yell at the customer service agent. We’re trying our best, you know. We want to make you happy because happy customers return and keep us employed. And generally, we do understand any frustrations you have. You know why? We’re customers, too! Including the same businesses we work for.
2. Don’t believe you’re the only person with an order. It’s heavy ordering time. Sometimes orders may take a while to fill. Imagine that many major companies have probably generated over 350,000 sales in the past week. You know what that means? Slower fulfillment. You know why? Because 350,000 orders can only be filled so fast, even with a lot of workers.
3. Don’t believe warehouses are really big retail stores. Look, it’s a common problem to assume the place must have a pretty backdrop that resembles a scene from Disney’s Enchanted. But the warehouses really don’t. It’s a huge order processing machine filled with heavy machinery and an unbelievable amount of stock. Warehouse can’t cherry pick items individually, especially if the window of time has closed.
4. Don’t forget: you chose free shipping. You chose the cheapest method possible to get your order. Do you really think it’s going to be expedited? And expedited is expensive for a reason. You know why? You see those orders in Point 3? Choosing faster shipping is jumping the line. You want faster products? Choose the expensive option. Otherwise understand that of those 350,000 orders? A good 339,000 are probably choosing the same option you did: free shipping. Get over it.
5. Agents don’t change your address information in the middle of the night. Stop saying we did. We’re not trying to steal your money or order. If you put the wrong address in, own it. Don’t claim we magically changed it in the middle of the night. Sometimes accidents do happen…but if you’re saying you never received an order and you can see that you inputted wrong: own it. Seriously.
6. The customer is not in fact always right. Sorry. Hate to burst that bubble, too. Just know…you’re not. Sometimes being an abusive customer makes you wrong.
7. Stop sending multiple emails to a queue. We will get your email, but if you send 3 or 4 back to back? We’re gonna assume you’ve already been helped. We work hard at finding solutions. We’re not looking to undercut you for the bottom line. Trust me: they don’t pay us enough to even get near owning our souls that way. But if you keep screaming and berating, email after email, we can’t keep a communication chain going so our agents can see what you’ve already explained and has been explained. Remember: we’re people too.
8. Don’t provide half details and expect us to magically know your meaning. You have to explain clearly and concisely what the problem is and how you need a resolution. Remember: Don’t yell at the customer service agent. We don’t know your mail service is like, your neighbors, or where you live. Explain it in a way so we can find the resolution. Again, we’re trying. Don’t take us for fools when you haven’t explained the full extent of why you’re upset in the first place.
9. If you’re going to communicate, try using the language where the company is located. Look, we know Google Translate and online translators can be shitty. We have to use them, too. But there are very few customer service agents that can speak more than one language on every. single. shift. Agents need sleep too. So please at least attempt in the first email to communicate the problem in the country’s native language. So everyone knows where to start.
We can easily switch to another language, but again: Google Translate can be shitty. We can only do so much. Don’t get frustrated when the representative (often more than one will be included in communication) is confused. We do try. But we’re not wizards. And there are no available TARDIS boxes nearby.
In short: don’t be a dick! That’s it. It doesn’t matter if you possess any sort of dick or not: don’t be one. Stop acting like you’re a saint and stop acting like we’re all greedy people with our hands out. We want to make you happy. But you have to remember we’re people, too. And we’re tied to certain legalities and regulations, just everyone else.
1 notable do
Do thank the representative, especially if the problem’s been resolved. Because you know what? We like to hear that. You have no idea how much a simple thank you can make us feel human again. Role reverse a bit: imagine you in the gig, facing nonstop criticism and harsh attitudes. Then imagine you receive a simple thank you. Imagine how good that would feel. It doesn’t matter if it’s a specific thank you. We like knowing we helped. Because that’s our job and we want to make your life easier.
Remember to keep your calm, don’t think you’re the only person with a problem, and realize we’re trying our best to find resolutions that may end up taking a little bit of time to sort out.
It’s a really simple system, right?
Don’t be a dick this holiday season. Do acknowledge the agent’s a human: smiles and thank yous work wonders. Shopping and great deals shouldn’t cost your humanity.