Tuesday, January 8, 2013

At Your Service!!!

Out of million jobs and opportunities in the world, I ended up in a customer service industry. I never dreamed to become a problem solver and a client appeaser before, but being on a first level career path and an inexperience oily faced fresh graduate, I have to take any chances to get a job regardless of whether it would fit my capabilities or not. I saw bait and I have to bite and I don’t care whether it will fill up my stomach or hook my throat. I am not saying I landed in this job because I have no choice, it’s just that competition nowadays is too stiff that I have to take whatever opportunities that will come on my way.

I never thought that I would be attached this much to this job. I don’t want to call it a calling or some sort of an expertise, but I guess I learned to love the job that much that what I considered then a nightmare has become a comfort zone to me. I am writing this to voice out my sentiments as a 4 years Technical Support. Yes, I lasted that long despite the toxic level that this job contains. But don’t worry, this is no toxic article. I would rather call it “lessons from sentiments” because here, I am going to let you see through the “pensieve” of a customer service personnel so that you would also understand us and maybe next time, you would treat us right. I am writing this because I am about to leave the job that I learned to love, the job that has become my bread and butter for the past four years.

Technical support, customer representative, help desk, concierge, etc. We come in different names, but one thing is common among us in the customer service industry is that, we are the FRONTLINERS. If in the battle, we are the soldiers in the front line protecting our base, and as we all know, we are prone to danger. Every single day at work, we are the ones who receive the complains, questions, insults and what not in behalf of the company.

Here are the things you need to know about us:

1. We are human

As much as we would like to agree that inconveniences may arise to some customers, please be reminded that we have also emotions. If you are irritated because of the glitches, bugs, defects and whatever imperfection you found about the product that we are defending, please don’t put it against us. We don’t take things personally because we know it’s our job to help you with your problems, but if you nag us because of our “incompetent” (according to you) product, it is tantamount to insulting the part of our personalities. We are not robots that we could just take all your bad mouthing and insults. There is one thing I learned about being a technical support, that is things can be easily resolved if we set aside emotional surges and rages. You talk, we listen. We talk, you listen. That’s a simple formula to get things resolved once and for all. No need to curse just to get us to listen to you. Just because you can say what you want and we can’t speak to you in that manner doesn’t mean you can curse us unlimited. Approach us and treat us as human and we will gladly help you out with your problems.

2. We don’t treat customer service as a job

Sometimes, we are being blamed because we are not doing our job properly in handling customer complaints. But there is one thing I would just like to say about this which I can’t say directly to customers, this is not simply a JOB. A customer service is a very sensitive aspect of a business. You must show your utmost care to the customers just as how nurses care their patients. If you are working in customer service for a long time, you would realize this is no longer a job, this is already a heroic stunt. You know when superman and batman and the rest of the justice league are out to save the world? That is what we are doing. We are on patrol to save businesses, to save people from frustrations and disappointments. But sometimes, even superman fails to save the victim from perilous danger. Customer service is not our job, it is our LIFE.

3. We make mistakes

Imperfection is inevitable, and yes, like you, we made mistakes. We value every task on our plate, but we are not exempted on the cliché “Nobody is perfect”. Sometimes we are too preoccupied or stressed or under pressure that we mishandled cases and issues. We understand if at this point you will scold at us and drag us to hell for not doing our job well, but we appeal a little bit of understanding from the bottom of your heart. One thing is for sure, for every mistake that we make, we learn from it.

Being a technical support has taught me a lot of things. The lessons I learned are not just limited to technical stuffs but also some lessons in life that I can live for. I became more careful in dealing with people because words are too powerful. I no longer rant when I am obliged to form a line just to be accommodated. I became more patient because I know how it feels to attend to multiple irate people. You can’t really understand this unless you experience it. I have my own share of curses and distastes from unhappy campers, and I’ll tell you, it’s not easy to hold grudges.

I once went to a bank, and you know how it works to deposit money, you need to fill up a deposit slip, get your number and wait for your turn. There are about ten people waiting before me so I patiently waited for my turn. I flipped my number card and I saw a hand writing at the back of the card which says “AMBAGAL NYO!!!!”. Well obviously, when you read it, the person who wrote it was not happy with the service of the bank. But hey, let’s look at the other side of the story. Maybe the process was not really that slow, it’s just that he or she maybe was just an impatient client.

I can’t stress more enough to tell you about us. You can see us everywhere you go and we are always ready to support you. I hope that next time you approach a customer service staff, you remember who we really are and treat us right. We may not deserve your appreciation but I am sure we deserve a little respect from you.

As I am going to retire on this profession, I will always be forever at your service.