Everything Is Customer Service

What comes to mind when you think of customer service?

Is it a friendly employee helping you out? Is it a Comcast rep on the phone who's hell bent on making your day worse? Is it a complex maze designed to make your experience frustrating?

We've all experienced those companies who's customer service is less than satisfactory. Our initial instinct may be, ashamedly, to treat the person in front of us as the source of the problem. But as we're all aware, they typically aren't.

Instead of getting upset at customer service employees, or even indifferent, you should strive to make their day a little better. It's an investment that may even pay off. Here's three reasons why:

  1. You're a human being and, as such, you should know what it feels like to be hurt (frequently referred to as the Golden Rule--don't underestimate it).
  2. You may get something valuable out of it, like money (which I know you like).
  3. It will make you feel happy to make someone else feel happy. 

Today I made a visit to my local AT&T store to solve an issue that has been present since I started my service. The man who greeted my was very kind, and by the end of it we had talked about each other's education, hometowns, and career goals. A twenty minute conversation while he worked on my case resulted in $100 fees being removed from bill, voluntarily. We shook hands and he thanked me for being friendly.

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A few days later, just days out of warranty, my iPhone was experiencing its third hardware failure. I was going to need a new phone. The woman that greeted me smiled and we held another equally satisfying conversation while another man ran to the back to fix the problem. I could have avoided her or given short responses to her attempts, but I didn't. Instead, I purposed to ask questions and find out more about her. That quick conversation saved me the price of a new phone replacement for, as she put it, being so friendly.

The way we treat people, from a clerk at the counter to a customer service rep across the world, makes a difference. It pays, literally, to be friendly to the people around you. They want to help and they're willing to go that extra mile if you are. While it pays to be a friendly customer, it's even more rewarding to treat people the best way you can, even under negative circumstances. I know I always walk out of a store feeling a little but happier than when I went in if I do. 

Have there been times that being a friendly customer payed off for you?