One of my first jobs was working as a customer service clerk at Sears Ala Moana Shopping Center. There I regularly encountered people with problems who whined and complained.
Wise 18th century guru Samuel Johnson once said, "The usual fortune of complaint is to excite contempt more than pity."
Amazingly enough, I never felt comtempt for the people who came to my counter. It was a fine job. I worked with a great, supportive team and I learned more about human nature than I did from the Psych 100 class I was taking at the same time at the University of Hawaii.
Renown celloist Yo-Yo Ma observed, "When you learn something from people, or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve it and build on it."
The experience was a gift because I learned the importance of good customer service. I have great respect for anyone who deals positively with the public on a regular basis. It's a tough job, but service can make or break a company. AND most people are so grateful if you go out of your way to help them.
Kindness and cooperation are worth the effort. As business consultant Alan Bagliore said, "If you make the customer smile, he'll come back to you."
Nowadays, I call businesses on soddy customer service. I feel I earned that spot atop the soapbox. Just the other day an odious grocery store manager refused to see things my way. His choice. I did tell him that lousy customer service will alter his bottom line. It didn't matter to him, but today I'll be be shopping at any store but his.
"When the customer come first," said manager Robert Half, "the customer will last."
More SERVICE Quotations
"I can't complain, but sometimes I still do..."