I have been in the service and sales industry for quite some time now, to be quite frank about it, it’s very much like taking care of snot-nosed whiny little brats. What I do is make sure that people are happy with what they have.
When I started in this business I had passion, I had a drive and a desire to ensure that people had an enjoyable experience and were able to feel special about their outings. I quickly realized how full of shit my perception of service really was. The ultimate “Guest” experience was only something that could only truly achieved if you have magic. Not David Copperfield, or Mindfreak magic, but the kind of magic that could make sure nothing went wrong.
My first true service experience came from the Disney model and how it taught you to look at each customer as everything BUT a customer. These were not customers but invitee’s, VIP’s, guest’s to your place of entertainment and magic. This was the model that Walt himself had instilled in all his staff at both the Magic Kingdom and Disneyworld. This works in places where you sell imagination and magic. Amusement parks, movie theaters, places where your products are meant to whisk people away from all their cares and transport them to times and places where they could be anything but themselves. And if your product could sell itself then yes, all you needed was smiley happy staff to usher you away into never-never land.
This bubble of shiny happy employees would be adopted into every industry and created an army of “Can I take your order” drones that were there to politely take what you dished out and do it all with a smile. It became what people expected and when one of these shiny happy employee’s smile wasn’t up to snuff, what then? Then the Guest morphed into something deadly and vicious and very, very costly. The Guest suddenly changed into a snarling dragon demanding, with teeth bared and fire spewing, for compensation. MAKE IT RIGHT is one of the most dreaded and costly phrases in the Business Owner-To-Consumer phrase book.
I guess the point I am really getting to is that due to some cartoonist’s magical service standards, we’ve bred a consumer that not only demands that you kiss their ass, but do it while asking for more, and begging for forgiveness all at the same time. This demanding consumer attitude is why when you call any customer service hotline, you get Jaded Jenny and Mocking Mark who are try to put on their best face, but after years and years of having their ears turn into the public’s port-a-potty are just plain tired of having to try to find a reason as to why they need to keep you as a customer. In fact most of these tenured CSR’s are so jaded, they’ll try to find some way of screwing you in order to make sure that they can find a reason to smile at the end of the day.
My point is – next time you call your local CSR hotline, start off with a smile, and ask them sincerely how their day is going. As someone’s mother in some Podunk, Hillbilly town said – you’ll catch more flies with honey then with vinegar. It’s true. How do I know? Because I’m probably the next Sarcastic Sam you will talk to, who is the only person standing between you, and ultimate satisfaction!!!