I remember back in the day there was a profound statement: The customer is always right. Companies lived by that statement and typically gave the customer the benefit of the doubt. Back then our world of customer service was wholesome and simple. Customers mainly kept their word. Customer service was done face to face; no on-line chats, no self-service websites, no telephone menu prompts. It was just simple to do business with less opportunities for errors. Now that businesses have grown leaps and bounds, mergers, conglomerations and incorporations, we now see that businesses are more complicated. And with these complications, customer service has become more of a challenge to navigate. With that said, our customers have become more complicated. I have encountered the wide spectrum of customers, the friendly and patient to the condescending and biased. Because customers have the cushion of spewing their frustrations and prejudices behind the telephone or internet, they have become more embolden and comfortable to act out. There is also a noticeable lack of integrity with some customers. Theft, untruths and trying to ‘get over’ are contributing towards the decline in customer service.
Usually society points fingers at businesses for the downfall of customer service. But we must also consider the customer, who can be ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’. Customers- let’s be sure to show the same behaviors we expect of our customer service representative: professional, engaged, patient, integrity, respectful and reasonable. If we all understand the importance of treating others as you would want to be treated, we can see a revitalization in customer service.