One Thousand Word Challenge 32: Once More, More Customer Service Stuff

I feel like that at this point I’m beating a dead horse. When I say that, I’m referring to the particular topic I’m going to get into. I don’t think that, in the current climate, it is something that can be overstated, but the past few times I have gotten into this, I’ve felt more like I’m beating my head against a wall.

But again, I don’t feel like this is something that can be overstated. I think that this is an important topic to keep on covering and trying to reinforce until people actually stop doing the thing that currently has me highly frustrated.

With that said, if you feel like this is something you don’t need to read over, then by all means don’t read over what I’m going to be writing about. Of course I’d prefer that you do read it, but if you don’t, I can’t stop you.

Well, with all of that out of the way, I guess it is now time to get stuck into the meat of what I want to talk about.

Actually, there is one more thing I do feel the need to cover before I properly start; Whilst I am talking about a particular thing, as an overall view, abuse is not okay. It seems kind of stupid to state that, but there are so many people out there who don’t realise that it is a shitty thing to go at someone or denigrate them in any form that I think that putting it in bold is acceptable.

Alright, so now that that bit is out of the way, I can properly begin (I think).

Customer service is something that so many people rely on. Without it, often it is harder for customers to interact with a business in a meaningful way that is also direct when it comes to enquiries. It’s pretty important, so I don’t understand as to why so many people think that it’s okay to just shit on customer service agents as much as possible.

At the end of the day, despite what some people may want to think, customer service is provided by real people. It is not provided by a detached robotic voice. Sure, there are pushes toward automated systems, but as it stands people are still required in some capacity to provide customer service. You need to actually engage with someone if there is an issue, or a general enquiry. As such, we speak to a large number of people on any given day and end up hearing a lot of different, yet similar things said to us each day.

It’s a tiring job and there are few perks to it. Often people come in to just get paid and move onto something better when it’s time, but some of us are here for a while.

When calling a customer service line, it’s probably not a good idea to tell someone they’re not helpful. It’s probably also not a good idea to call someone a cunt and tell them to hurry up when they’re trying to help you.

Another thing that isn’t a good idea is to lose your cool and just attack someone for trying to help you. We’re not your punching bag. We are not here to take your abuse.

I still don’t understand why people think it’s okay to denigrate customer service agents. It’s almost as though a lot of people out there see customer service as a job not worth respecting; that we’re not really worthwhile people. Often it feels as though you’re being treated in a subhuman manner and it all doesn’t matter because we’re no longer a part of someone’s life once they’re off the phone.

This doesn’t really sound that pleasant, but of course it ‘s not that bad if it’s a one-off. It seldom is.

There are people here who get treated like shit by customers only due to them being not from Australia. In some ways I’m glad I only get treated like shit due to people not recognising my name and its origins. It’s still bad, but some of the crap people cop just because they weren’t born here is so much worse. It’s highly upsetting.

But, you know, we don’t really matter. It’s fine to punch down on people helping out customers as there isn’t a face to see. There’s no person behind the voice.

It’s also pretty bad when co-workers do it to each other due to a slight mistake. Nothing lovelier than having someone in another department being start off needlessly blunt and unprofessional before switching as quickly as possible to downright hostile over the span of four messages for a mistake.

Side note: Whilst the above did happen to me, I’ve seen it happen far more employees than what should be seen as acceptable.

Customer service is a challenge, but often part of that challenge comes from getting past all the abuse you have to deal with on a regular basis. People will tell you to leave it at work, or not to worry about it, but there comes a time when it starts affecting you  in some pretty bad ways. It’s a job that is, overall, pretty bad for your health and the responses seem to be to send it to some place out of sight and out of mind. After all, it’s not the problem of the company.

No, I don’t think those hotlines are enough. It’s a pretty intense job and a lot of people don’t seem to realise that. If people had a better idea of all the shit that their dumping on customer service agents could lead to, then maybe the job would be less intense.

But of course, that is only maybe. It seems that even when some people realise, they just don’t care.

Combined with pressure-inducing call handling times, it makes the job much worse than necessary.

When you’re calling customer service, think before you talk. We don’t want to be abused.

The time it took to write one thousand words: 26:24:15

I was a bit hesitant about sharing this one as I’d already rambled on about this pretty recently.

I feel the message is one that’s difficult to wear out, however.

Not sure if I did a good job of expressing said message, but it’s certainly in there.

Written at work.

About Stupidity Hole

I'm some guy that does stuff. Hoping to one day fill the internet with enough insane ramblings to impress a cannibal rat ship. I do more than I probably should. I have a page called MS Paint Masterpieces that you may be interested in checking out. I also co-run Culture Eater, an online zine for covering the arts among other things. We're on Patreon!
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