Sunday, June 12, 2011

Customer 101

A lot has been written (and said) on how customer service should be carried out. Most often than not, it is through these insights that give customers such haughtiness; on the face of it, embodying their domineering clout over service providers.

How about being the customer – the service-recipient?

While wanting to satisfy their needs at the expense of people they feel are under their control, customers forget or are unmindful (and similarly insensitive) of the character behind the person at their disposal.

For instance, the security guard we reprimanded for “arrogance” as per our own account or the “tactless” service crew we wanted fired could be responsible enough to enable themselves to work and feed their family. The accusation against them could have been blown out of proportion due to our self-centered inconsiderateness for how could they have not been “that uncaring” if only to likewise care for their family’s source of income.

We have to remember that there are at least two sides of every story. The problem however is that as customers, the only story that matters is that of ours. Perhaps the foundation as to why these service providers qualified for their roles is the corresponding reason why the people they’re serving are as self-important. As customers, we tend to look (if not look down) at them why they’re rather in that position disregarding how it could be compared to ours. Should it be the other way around, could we be more fitting to take on their role? Customers’ overbearing attitude allows them to apparently understand (and even lecture on) customer service from their partial point of view as customers but hardly on how it is from the other side of the process. We have to remember that it has barely nothing to do with the dos-and-don’ts of customer service pursued by “our rights” that we’re fighting for; but simply because of pride and self-worth. Simply discriminating… In the process and at some point, we even exaggerate our stories to “wrongfully” establish our credibility against the defendant’s version of the incident. Is the complaint rightfully based on a technical lapse or is it upsettingly realistic that we just can’t accept (perhaps something we’re “uncomfortable” about but shouldn’t be)? Have we just been too sensitive being caught at a wrong time or similarly ill-timed for the service provider who, as human as the customer, could have meant otherwise having his bigger share of concerns?

Customer-complainants’ bruised ego is something that’s tended on too much to heal but in the process, wounding the heart of the condemned employee and his now “starving” family. We are blinded by our own hard-pleasing attitude that the resolution we want could probably pacify us. However, it causes a bigger injury. We probably contributed in extending the unemployment rate and malnourishment problems.

“We want to teach them a lesson” is an argument that demonstrates a lesson alright (probably a painful one at that); but from our end, what have we learned? How harsh could we be? Should realization set-in, even the family (particularly our children) we’re protecting and presenting with life's principles or our “sympathizing” friends are subject to grasping the wrong teaching due to our self-absorbed outlook. I suppose we better look within… This way, we learn aspects for both ends.

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