Customer Service Informative - When Did The Customer Become The Enemy?
Someone online once asked us "When did the customer become the enemy?" While there may not have been an exact date, I can probably safely say that the customer became the enemy through several factors, some of which are from one end, some of which are from the customer's end. The customer is not always a chaste angel, capable of doing no wrong.
Some reasons as to why the customer may be considered the enemy.
1) Shoplifting/scamming. Many of the public do not realize just what effect shoplifters and scammers have on the customer service industry. As a result of the public seeking the five-finger discount, or a quick buck, companies have had to increase prices to eat the merchandise that they lost, toughened up their loss prevention measures (bag checking isn't always just to see what you have so they can sell it ya know) or even placed their merchandise out of public reach, only accessible by the employees. People may no longer be able to break notes because the company has had quick-change artists, people buying expensive gift cards may only be able to process them through certain people, the list goes on.
2) The general respect towards retail workers. Just like every single job, there is always going to be some dead wood. However, that does not mean that all retail workers are dead wood. Many of them are trying to earn some money while they are at college or even in high school, to pay for their car, rent for their house if they have one, maybe go out with friends from time to time, trying basically to ensure that they get some independence in their lives. But from day to day, retail workers are seen as the Lowest of the low simply because they make mistakes, have an opinion, have breaks and maybe might actually want to become the customer once they have finished for the day.
3) Unreasonable demands. I have seen many letters online, both here and in other parts of the Internet, that to me, are simply unreasonable. There's a line between providing good customer service and basically kissing ass because you want them to. Free food, free product, free whatever, are not reasonable demands. A discount maybe, but not a free item. Demanding somebody else be fired is unreasonable as well (see No.2). You are not the queen/king, and they are not your slaves.
4) Consumer watchdogs and TV/Magazine/Newspaper items that promote certain ideals. Yes, the ideas work, but if they say no, they say no. Some of the practices are actually illegal in certain areas (selling of damaged food for example) so demanding that they do this, this and this, while it may work in one or two areas, do not keep hampering them until they do so. Be polite. It may actually result in a fully-justifiable ban.
5) A general lack of common sense. Do you use the entire household as a toilet? If you don't, then don't go into a supermarket and take a dump on the floor. Do you put your cleaning products alongside raw meat? If you don't, then don't do the same in a supermarket. Do you look like a minor, or do you take your minors with you when you go liquor shopping? Then be prepared to show ID if someone asks you. Yes, they are allowed to show ID if you LOOK under a certain age. They cannot tell how old you are by mindreading, or by looks alone. If you need the toilet, ask someone to hold your stuff while you go shopping. Don't demand a personal shopper. If you have such a problem, it's called online shopping.
So basically, this could possibly be why customer service is sliding downhill and why the customer may be considered the enemy.