Happy Customer Service Week
This week is Customer Service Week, and so those of us who have functions that touch on customer service are celebrating. And not just celebrating, but reflecting on the things that make our jobs interesting, difficult, or special.
I never wanted a job in customer service, but for the past eight years or so, every function I have worked has touched the customer in some way and has had me interacting with them. My customers are a diverse group of people, from attorneys to the general public and clients of our business. I have had a lot of practice in listening actively to issues and trying to demonstrate compassion while taking action on their issues.
However, not a day passes that I don’t learn something new.
The first time I had to deal with an angry customer I was nervous, but soon learned that by listening carefully and empathizing with their issue I could turn a situation around. Once, by simply apologizing to a customer for an error made, she backed off from wanting to seek reimbursement. She stated, “All I wanted was for someone to take responsibility for this.”
Not every aspect of my job involves dealing with external customers either. As both a leader and a service professional, I take my internal customers seriously, too. Often, they require information or support from me or my team here, and I think it is just as critical to show them excellent service as I do to those external customers. After all, I am also a customer to my internal customers. We need each other.
We all know, too, that not every person working in customer service is cut out for the task. There are businesses I have called where not one person could give me proper service, while there are other places where the service cannot be matched. And that makes all the difference to me as a consumer. I will almost always pay more to be treated courteously and have a good support group to call when things don’t work out.
In fact, that is one of my favorite things about Fitbit! They have great customer service. They are quick and courteous to respond to me and have replaced defective items without any hassle to me in the past. When I am dealing with a difficult situation or an unhappy person, I often think of the great service I have had in the past and realize that helping other people really isn’t hard. You just have to commit to it, and listen.
So today, my hat is off to all of those who work in one of the many numerous industries where they provide service and support in person or via email or phone. We can make a difference in a person’s day, and it is a great privilege that we can!