Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Customer Service Skills Wasted on the Young

I have a teenage daughter who works at Burger King. Practically every day she tells me some story about a rude customer. I keep reminding her that no matter how bad the customer is, she must always keep a smile on her face and be courteous.

Am I the only parent doing this? I ask because I see way too many young people in customer service jobs who have no business being there. Case in point: I was preparing to fly out of Kansas City after the end of the Hallmark Bloggers Conference when I came up to the ExpressJet Airlines check-in line. Behind me was a very bubbly young blond who displayed a lot more than her personality, if you know what I mean.

A young man motioned for me to come up to the counter to check my bag. He didn’t ask me for my ID so I asked him if he wanted it. Very timidly, he said yes. I watched as he looked puzzled at the computer screen in front of him. I made a joke about making sure my name was on the roster because I was ready to leave Kansas City. He responded by telling me it was his first day on the job and continued to stare at the computer screen. It was obvious he needed help from a co-worker so I took it upon myself to ask the young man standing next to him if he could help him out. Now this young man, who I will only identify as Mark, didn’t seem to like the fact that I interrupted him since he was having such a good time with Ms. Personality Plus, who was just giggling up a storm at WHATEVER! they were talking about while he was checking her luggage. Mark told me his colleague would have to wait until he finished with his customer. To make a long story short, Mark never did help out his co-worker and I wrote up a customer service complaint.

How sad it is to see young people put into positions when they are poorly trained and to see the arrogance of those who think they’re way more important than they really are. But the overall shame is having young people in positions where they don’t know how to effectively deal with EVERYBODY.

1 comment:

Carine said...

Hi Bev,
Wanted to see what you were up to! As a person who wears a CS hat (one of at least a dozen!)at the "day job", I can sympathize w/ your poor daughter. Been there, done that! Just the other day a designer was yelling at me because a pair of faucets didn't match-she had them for 5 months! Neither she, nor her client, opened the box to check them out. Most vendors give 30 days,tops, to make any claims about wrong products, finishes, missing parts, etc...
She was screaming at me b/c we couldn't just give them back w/o a re-stocking fee.
I kept my cool and let her rant, but it was hard.
Rude people, bad employees and co-workers are always going to be there, we can only hope that we handle ourselves with the modicum of respect that we hope others give to us.