Work in the service industry I mean. I’ve been a (horrible) waitress in the past and I think its a good experience for every person to have. Having been on that side of the table I like to think I make a good customer. The only time I complain or don’t tip is if a waitperson is deliberately rude or obnoxious. Another industry that I think gets a bad rap is customer service/help desk. Until you have been on the other end of the phone/computer, talking to irritated, upset people all day, you really have no idea what its like.
For the last month or so I have been helping out in our customer care centre (its an email only help desk, no telephone calls at all). Its been an interesting experience.
I’ve had nice people, I’ve had nasty people,I’ve had crazy people and I’ve had people who should not be allowed to use the internet.
Some of the things I have learned:
- The quickest way to learn about the business you are in is to work the help desk.
- Working the help desk is the quickest way to learn who is who in your office and what they do.
- Some people do not actually want your help, they just want to complain and moan.
- You cannot please all the people all the time.
- Being super friendly to nasty people makes them go away.
- Adding a friendly, happy line to the end of an email almost always gets you a positive, happy response and a thank you.
- People do not see you as a human being and therefore swearing at you is acceptable.
- If you make a mistake, own it. Apologise and correct it.
- Even if you add pictures, some people will still not understand.
- Some people just want to talk. Maybe they are lonely or have no family. Being patient and friendly to them is no hardship.
- People get very upset over the smallest things.
- Its not personal. They don’t know you, you don’t know them. Let it go.
The best email I had while working at our help desk was the one that told me I was as useless as an appendix. 10/10 for making me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe!
I’m going to try being nicer to help centre people next time I have to call or email a company.