The irony is that despite its size, this large company has a reputation for horrible customer service.
It almost makes me laugh when I think about the times I was called to answer a customer request and said, "I've worked in customer service for 'x' amount of years and…"
Sometimes these requests were simply questions. What kind of cake décor do you have? No problem, I can handle that. Out of your size in clothing? Let me see what I can do. My cashier was an a-hole. Yeah, sorry, he's new.
Other times, they were the inquiries calls that made my blood boil, especially when they made it personal. I've been told to (insert explicative phrase here), simply because a customer was not happy with the answer I gave them. There was one time, a woman made me so furious, I told her that if she thinks she can do a better job as a manager, then here's my keys.
Customer service is challenging, but it's a skill that is innate. It's hard to teach, so you lead by example. It's like trying to teach someone how to run fast. You can train someone to make them a little faster, stronger, or more agile ─ and maybe they can get 40 yard dash in under five seconds. (I never quite made it). But, ultimately, it's up to them.
The thing I do well is listen. I listen to what the customer wants ─ and I did everything in my power ─ to give them what they want. I remember spending an hour helping an elderly gentleman find the proper remote for his TV. For most folks, a TV remote is simple. But for someone in his 80s, and with English as a second language, it was trying. But, I was patient and kind. That's my job. And that's what customer service is.
Sometimes, customer service is simply supplying information. A customer might not understand the logistics, marketing or application involved in creating the end product or service of which they are about to buy. But, do they need to understand why? They have a need or they wouldn't be in your store ─ or on your site. It's your job to educate them.
My motto is this: Care.
So many people don't give a s--t about the customer ─ and that's where the real problem lies. That big company I worked for had few people that actually cared about what they were doing, and ultimately their overall goal was to increase their profit margin, by any means necessary. But, I cared. I cared as much for the customers and the people that I worked with, as I did my own family. That's how I grew up - and that's how I think it should be.
When I left this company, after 14 years of service, the only promises I made myself was that I would offer customer service the way I think it should be delivered and to treat others the way you want to be treated. And, so began my own business.
Who's with me?