Customer Servitude

Hello! I’m your CSR/Cashier/Waiter/Pre-sales person/Account manager. How are you?

Can I help you? Of course, I can and I am happy to. I need to ask a few questions, if that’s okay…

…oh, it isn’t okay. Emphatically not. I don’t know how I will be able to address this without knowing what to address, but… Oh? You’ll get to that? Okay then. That’s fine, please go on.

I understand that you are upset, so why don’t I….

Oh? You don’t want me to fix that, but you want me to listen. Okay, I’m listening.

Oh, I’m still here, but I’m listening. I wasn’t talking because I was listening. Yes, I’m still listening.

Oh, I know exactly what’s wrong and I’m happy to help. I just need to….

If I could just say this one thing, it would help things. I just need to let you know that it involves an additional cost…

….
….
….

To explain, it is a product we offer. I understand that your request seems very small and simple, however, it is something that I do not have the authority to waive the price for. You are asking me for time that my company values at a certain rate and you want me to tell them that what they have tasked me with is less important than what you are asking me for because you are asking me for it.

I am perfectly fine with offering this to you, but I have to give my company a reason for this. That reason has to have a dollar amount attached to it.

Yes, it costs that much.

What are you paying for? I am basically going to take hours out of a day that I can do other things, to help you walk through a process that would be exponentially more difficult without my expertise. I cannot fathom on what level you would think it is okay for you to ask me for this and offer me nothing more than a thumbs-up, a highfive, or even a “Thank you”.

Especially when you are also in a similar position at your company.

You don’t have to be here when I have to explain to my boss – who is pacing the floor because I’ve been talking to you for 30 minutes about our basic customer service process – that you want me to give you an indefinite amount of free hours in help for how to make your life easier and to do the thing your business model does instead of using the process we have in place.

This is training and that is charged at a minimum of $225 per hour that you do not feel is worth paying for even as we go into minute 45 of this conversation about what that $225 per hour pays for.

Please understand that, no matter how loud you get, I still can’t do this and now my boss in the background has asked me to hang up. Now I have to fight for you in order to allow you to continue badgering me because I’m stuck between not cannibalizing what we offer as training and wanting to just walk away from this whole conversation.

I like helping, but I am not a slave and certainly not yours. Please understand and behave like I am a person with a job that has a limited amount of authority. Yelling, “Are you going to help me or not?” during the early – or any other – part of my day is a good way to make me not want to even try to be creative about ways to help you.

In sum: treat me like a person. If I can make that choice when speaking to you, I think you can act accordingly.

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