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How To Be A Good Customer

Updated on November 5, 2016

Service With a Smile

Excellent Customer Service

Customer service is the backbone of every company and business around the world. Without good customer service, there are no customers, and therefore, no business. Employees get highly focused training on how to provide excellent service to customers. However, customer service is a two-way street. Yes, a customer is paying their hard-earned money for a service. But there is a human element involved that must be accounted for: the human buying a service and the human performing a service. If you want perfection, you need a robot. If you want great service, you have to treat the other human as you want to be treated, with courtesy and respect. Here are some examples of how not to be in order to get great customer service.

Say Hello

Greet The Other Person

Baristas, waiters and retailers are all trained to greet their customers with a smile and good attitude. Whether it is a simple, "hello", or if they ask how your day is going, it is good manners to respond to them. It sets the mood for the following transaction. If a customer does not acknowledge the greeting, a server can interpret them as rude and go on to not perform at their top level. Yes it is unfair and against training, but it is a true fact of life we must all deal with. After all, this is another human, not a smartphone. Greet the server in return, they will be much more receptive to your requests and needs.

Please and Thank You

This is pretty elementary stuff, but use "pleases" and "thank yous" when making requests and asking for services. Rather than demanding service like you are on a holy crusade, make the atmosphere more pleasant by asking politely. This will generate a much better service and a more satisfactory solution. Those little words can change someone's day.

Listen to Morpheus

Put The Phone Down

This one has become key in the last few years. Many customer service professionals are thrown into disarray when a customer is talking to someone on their phone or glued to their screen. It throws off the above-mentioned greeting process and no one really knows if you are ready to begin the transaction or not. Your conversation may become crossed with your transaction with the other human being and many people are likely to be confused and become irritable. Sometimes mistakes are made and the service suffers. Not to mention, a person on their phone is interpreted as very rude and less likely to receive top notch service. Simply put the person on hold or call them back after the transaction is complete, and the mess will be avoided.

Retail Robin Knows What's Up

Reward Good Service

Baristas, waiters and others in the customer service industry operate on a tipping scale. These individuals rely on their tips as well as their paycheck to get through life. It is not necessary to tip every time you visit (though it is greatly appreciated and you will soon become a favorite who gets quality service). However, when someone goes above and beyond to make sure you are happy, it is good etiquette to make sure they get a little reward. Whether it is helping you save money with discounts and coupons, re-making your drink or food, or some other extra special thing, just a little pocket change can go a long way.

On The Way Out

This is just like the greeting part. Even if the transaction has gone horribly awry and everyone is unhappy, a customer service rep is trained to issue a farewell to the customer. Usually it is something polite like, "Have a nice day." Walking out without responding sends a very negative message to the server. That customer will be remembered as snooty and rude and will not receive the best service on their next visit. It is a very simple action to show that the customer acknowledges the server as a human who did their best, whether the outcome was positive or negative.

If Your Server Is A Jerk

I've talked a lot about customers being jerks, but certainly servers can be jerks right from the get-go as well. If this is the case, being a good customer is still very nice but not required. They may be having a bad day or they may just be a jerk. It's hard to tell the difference. Being polite usually ensures there is no spit in my drink, so I make a practice of it. But I don't tip them.

Starbucks Hipster

Final Thoughts

Rudeness makes everyone's day so much harder than it has to be. Most retail workers dislike their jobs largely because of rude customers. And most customers abandon restaurants or coffee bars because of rude servers. With just a little politeness and respect, everyone's day can be so much better.

Alright, One More Meme


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