Social Question

Mama_Cakes's avatar

How do you deal with poor customer service?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (9320 points ) July 24th, 2012

I know that everyone has a bad day, so do you cut them some slack?

A woman who my partner had to deal with (some sales) was awfully rude (a bitch). My partner had to bite her tongue.

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15 Answers

tom_g's avatar

@Mama_Cakes: “I know that everyone has a bad day, so do you cut them some slack?”

Yes. In fact, I go even further. Having worked in retail, I know what it’s like. It can be soul crushing and humiliating work. It’s amazing (in my opinion) that any of these interactions go well. I empathize.

The alternative is to try to make their awful existence a bit more awful by speaking with their manager or filing a complaint.

Now, if your partner was financially hurt by the interaction and continually got nowhere with other people there, then it might be worth filing a complaint of some kind.

marinelife's avatar

It depends on how much time I have and what kind of mood I’m in. If I have the time, I might complain to management. If I am annoyed enough I could write a letter later.

andreaxjean's avatar

I’ve worked in retail for the last 6 years. I’ve only had one complaint towards me, which is while I was pregnant, because I was moving slow due to morning sickness (some customers are just plain mean)... But what I’m trying to say is: if the person working was rude to your partner, they should complain to management. The employee will notified of the complaint. If there are multiple complaints towards that employee, they will probably be reprimanded. Then strike three… they’re out.

Kardamom's avatar

It completely depends upon the nature of the bad service. I’m one of those folks who tend to give service people a huge break. Unless they’ve done something that is horribly egregious (and that is completely subjective for each person) I would probably just let it go. I’m also very undemanding and laid back when it comes to being a customer, so I make it really easy to give me adequate service.

I don’t know your girlfriend, but if she’s with you, she must be sweet and wonderful, but I have seen customers treat service people so poorly that the person simply snapped. My best friend’s boyfriend is one of those people who’s never satisfied with the service he gets and he’s really a boor when he deals with service people. He has ridiculous notions of what it means to be served. So I can totally empathize with service people, and I’ve been a service person myself and I always treated people with politeness and respect and tried to help find another solution if I couldn’t solve the problem on my own.

Now, if they have done something bad and it seems like it was on purpose, or maybe they’re blatantly lying to me, or if they’ve used coarse language or treated me with dis-respect, I might say something directly to the person (in front of other witnesses) right at that moment. Or I might send and e-mail or a letter or make a phone call to that person’s supervisor, or even go find the supervisor and talk to them right then and there.

I have said things out loud to people who have treated other people (strangers) poorly. But I usually only do this if there are witnesses. Sometimes people need to be shamed publicly.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

Without losing my cool

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

When it comes to poor customer service, there are Walkers and there are Talkers. The Walkers are the ones who leave and never purchase a product/service from that company again. The Talkers are the ones who either complain to someone within the company or to friends or both.

With the internet being so well-used today for communication, you would think that companies would be on their toes when it comes to customer service. There are oodles of websites that encourage reviews of products and service. A couple of bad reviews, and it can be the kiss of death for some establishments.

One of the preferred customer staying at one of the hotels that used to be part of our company had a really bad experience based upon one clerk’s apathetic attitude. The guest created a PowerPoint presentation and sent it to two co-workers. They sent it out to their friends. And then it went viral on the internet. As hilarious as it was, it was a nightmare for those on the hotel side. (It’s still out there on the internet in case anyone is interested. It’s called, “Yours is a Very Bad Hotel.”)

For me, it just depends upon the situation. There are businesses that I will no no longer support based upon poor customer service. There are others where I will either talk to the employee or to the manager. Other occasions, I just let it slide.

Kardamom's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer OK I’m taking the bait, who else is with me ready to flock over to Yours is a Very Bad Hotel? I’ll report back later : )

Kardamom's avatar

OMG! That was awesome! Here it is if anyone wants to have a look.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Kardamom It’s not so great if you are Mike. :) I used this presentation when I would facilitate classes on customer service to new hotel owners and managers.

Kardamom's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer That’s an excellent learning tool.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

Foodsevice rule number one:

The customer is not always right.

The answer to many service questions can be answered here:

http://www.thevortexbarandgrill.com/pages/rules-notices

DigitalBlue's avatar

Depends. Customer service from a company that just offers poor customer service – I no longer use that company or purchase their goods.
Salesperson or server (or something along those lines) who is crabby and less than friendly? I usually give them a break. Dealing with the public can be brutal, and I get that it’s supposed to be their job to have a big, peachy smile and a bubbly attitude, but they don’t get paid enough for that shit. Seriously.

Trillian's avatar

It depends. Someone having a bad day is one thing. Deliberate, continual rudeness are something else. A lady behind the counter at the Navy Exchange was bitchy to the two customers ahead of me, and I didn’t know what started it, but she was rude to me too without my having done anything to warrant it. I asked her if she was rude to everybody or if it was something personal. Several people in line behind me chimed in , so they must have noticed too. I feel it’s appropriate to address the behaviour without attacking the person.
As @DigitalBlue states, I would rather just have a straight conversation than a fake bubbly over the top cheerful person. I hate that shit, and don’t expect it from people who don’t teach Kindergarten.

jca's avatar

When I receive poor customer service, I will likely write a letter (old fashioned snail mail) to the President or CEO. I learned long ago to avoid customer service departments, as the result of that will often be some stupid form letter or form email “We are sorry for your experience, blah blah blah.” Writing a letter to the Pres or CEO will usually get a personal response via either mail or a phone call. I have a file with letters I’ve written over the years and responses.

As far as customer service at hotels and restaurants, lately, I utilize the power of the internet and post an online review. The interesting thing about the online reviews is that you can see other people’s reviews and compare them to your experience. I recently stayed at a hotel that had cleanliness issues, and it’s interesting to see other guests with similar problems in the same hotel.

km339's avatar

mama cakes, what you need to do is look at it from a different perspective. If you want respect from someone or your friend wants respect and good “customer service” you need to respect and be nice to the server first. Excuse my language, but you cant act like an arrogant dumb ass and later bitch about bad customer service. Nobody wants to be rude to customers. But if somebody wants to be a jackass and act like an arrogant prick and only tries to give the server a “hard time”, thats what they are gonna get. “Poor customer service” Everybody can get angry. Not just customers. Customers dont own the shop and the servers dont work under the customers, they work for their bosses and the company’s guidelines, and they have their own dignity.

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