July 24, 2009

Reason #156 - Glad to Be Male

     Working in the customer service industry can be a real pain in the ass for a lot of people. If it's done right however, it can be pretty easy and fairly rewarding. When I say "done right," part of that includes just picking the right company to work for. I happen to work for a great company in which the customers often have some problems with their product, but it's not the kind of product that is extremely important and ruins lives if it gets screwed up (ya know like lost luggage or wedding photos or something). Nope; here it's mostly inconsequential stuff and it's usually an easy fix anyway so the customer almost always walks away happy. Not to mention 99% of my job is over the phone so I never have to see the actual customer face to face. But...

Occasionally you'll get a real bitch who flies off the handle because her 7 year-old's T-ball pictures are misspelled or is missing a part of the package. You know, real end of the world type stuff. So every so often I'll come in to the office and check the voice mail and there will be a recording from a raging bitch all pissed off (and I mean PISSED OFF!) that one of her wallet photos is slightly bent on the corner or something. Like I said, end of life as we know it right?

The funny thing is this: I get these types of messages about once every six months or so. And every. single. time. As soon as I call them back and use my "manly" voice they back off. I've had some of these customers be screaming at female subordinates and as soon as I get on the phone they back off... big time.

So first of all, don't be an asshole when calling a customer service agent. Be forceful and confident, but be polite too. Screaming and ranting is the worst way to get what you want - especially from me. I basically have carte blanche with my job responsibilities so if you piss me off, I'll simply tell you to go to hell in not so many words and everyone loses.

Second, just because the customer service rep you're speaking to on the phone is a female, does not give you the right to push her around and bully her. Maybe it's a subconscious thing, but for whatever reason, people become extremely meek and fragile and almost friendly as soon as they hear a male's voice. This is just seconds after their outburst on my voice mail. Weird.


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