Dear Everyone in ANY form of Customer Service, Hospitality, or the General Service Industry:
I have personally worked in various degrees of service over my years; I have been a receptionist, a waitress, a massage therapist, a store clerk, a party planner/hostess, plus many more. So please indulge me for a moment as I bend your ear with a few tidbits of advice.
- Waitress, if you are carrying a tray of Cokes out to my table and cannot remember which one was the Diet, please for the love of everything, DO NOT put your nose to the beverage and sniff it to try to determine which is which before playing Russian Roulette with my drink.
- Restaurant Staff, if you are trying to clean your area and my family is still eating in your section, please DO NOT proceed to sweep right next to us and then have the audacity to ask us to lift our feet so that you can sweep under our table.
- Hair Professionals, I completely understand that you are trained to recognize a split end from a mile away but I come to you to feel beautiful; I do not need you to tell me how bad my hair looks (that is why I’m sitting in your chair in the first place). Since when are backhanded compliments socially acceptable AND you can charge for them?!? I didn’t ask you to tell me how gray me hair is getting, my husband doesn’t want to hear about the genetics of thinning hair, and I don’t want to hear how damaged my hair looks. I’m paying you to make me feel beautiful when I leave your salon. Period. Shampoo, cut, style. Offer advice on types of shampoo, styling products and hair styles but that is all.
- As an addition to the previous statement…The High-Pressure Up-sell. Lately I dread going to salons or any spa that sells products because I know that they are going to spend my entire “relaxing” service time trying to convince me that something is so terribly wrong with me and only their product can help me. Lucky for me, they sell this miraculous product up front. Usually it is a product that I could just as easily purchase myself at Sephora or Ulta for a lot less if I wanted to bother. But that isn’t the point. The point is that I don’t want to feel like I’m at a sleazy Time Share pitch when I’m at a spa. I just want to relax and not be fending off wolves the whole time. I expend so much energy trying to think up good enough excuses that will shut them down that I’m so stressed and exhausted and in need of a spa day. I always want to give them the right answer to the first question so that they won’t ask another question…I haven’t found the right answer yet. And we all know that a simple “No” doesn’t work because they don’t ask the questions that way. So I vote for this to stop, let me relax and if I want to buy something I will.
- Spa employees can be just as bad with the insults as the hair stylists. I’ve suffered my entire life with extremely dry skin. When I was little, I was teased when the skin on my legs would crack and bleed. It hurt so bad when I took a bath or a shower that I would scream bloody murder when the water hit my skin. As I’ve grown up, it has gotten a lot better but I still have scars on my lower legs from those younger days; and my skin still gets very dry. So, yesterday I went for a day of pampering and the girl tells me that I have very dry skin. Oh really? I hadn’t noticed. Then she tells me that I should try putting lotion on my skin to moisturize it because lotion helps dry skin. Holy cats girl! Where were you years ago when I was tortured and teased? You would’ve saved me so much pain if only my parents, doctors, or I would’ve thought to try putting lotion on my dry skin. She is an absolute genius! I’m so glad that I found her and her extensive training.
- My other favorite is a Customer Service Agent telling me that they didn’t do it…whatever “it” is at the moment. If I have an issue with your company and you are in Customer Service, you represent whomever did “it” and you therefore better take care of “it” AND apologize for “it”. Understand that whatever happened isn’t personal but it is your business when you work in Customer Service to take good care of the customer. No one cares about you personally… all that matters is the customer and the business. That is what you get paid for by the company; to take care of the company that serves the customer i.e. Customer Service.
So, as you can plainly see, we have a few issues to work on. I realize that customers can be rude and unreasonable BUT I also have firsthand experience at completely turning the worst customer into the best. Your attitude, work ethic, and character determine your outcome. True you might not always be treated fairly or with the same respect and kindness that you are putting out there but you will walk away with your head held high knowing that you can be proud of the job that you did well and that you carried yourself respectably and with strong character. All we can ever be in control of is ourselves…control yourself well because you influence so many every single day so make it count.
With Sincere Thanks,