Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why Do People in Customer Service Make Life So Difficult?

I just don't understand why people make getting things done so much more complicated and dramatic then it really should be. This post is inspired by my bank experience today which turned out great, wasn't a huge deal but seriously could have been avoided if the people who say they work for me actually worked for me.

To make a long story short - I needed to cash a check that was written to my maiden name and went to do this at a different branch that is closer to my house. I changed my name on my account to my married one and made it a huge point to tell the manager I worked with at my home branch to notate my account with both names to avoid any hassles that may occur.  I guess she forgot and the teller at the new branch wouldn't cash my check because it wasn't notated on my account. After discussing this matter for fifteen minutes, he eventually cashed it but told me "this was a courtesy" and I had to bring my marriage certificate in to show a manager in order to put a note on the account.

I had just worked out, went grocery shopping, had my bike in the car and Brian was waiting for me in the car patiently after I told him, "Oh, this shouldn't take long." YEAH RIGHT!

I'll be honest - I felt stupid standing there when this guy told me I couldn't cash my check. I was also furious because I was so happy when this branch opened up and I almost felt like closing my account and saying SCREW YOU! 

This afternoon I went back to the bank with my certificate armed and ready. It turned out to be a better experience than I expected and although I left feeling satisfied, I still couldn't help but think:

If the outcome was to be in my favor why did this teller go through all of that drama?

This incident isn't even the worse one I've had - be it grocery stores, cable bills, the bank, credit card companies, landlords, returning something, the post office - sometimes you have every thing you need and still there's a problem. I've argued with so many credit card companies over the phone to lower my interest rates and the first person is always nasty, mean and always says there's nothing he/she can do. Then they put a manager on the phone who is all nice and does whatever you need in a matter of seconds. Sometimes, you wonder - why did I go through all of that? We could have skipped the BS and went right to the point and not wasted any more time.

I am venting but sometimes I wish those experiences could be as easy as their advertisements make them sound. I don't always think it's a racial or sex thing - especially over the phone but maybe I'm aware of issues a little more because of how I used to get followed around in stores at the mall when I was a preteen or how when I was in grade school, a little girl who I played with every day all of a sudden one day told me she couldn't play with me anymore because I was black. Or maybe it was the time when someone said, " You're pretty for a black girl." These things don't define me but they resonate in the back of my head and make me understand how other people's perception of me can affect our interactions.

In short - People do your job and be nice about it and if there's a problem don't act like it's my fault for giving you my business.

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