Employers love to put nice people in customer service positions. Especially if they're authentically nice people -- I'm talking about the kind it's impossible to get mad at because they're just naturally so dang polite and pleasant. It's obvious that they genuinely want to solve everyone's problems, and they're working really hard to make it happen.
This setup makes sense (put nice employees in front of clients = a no-brainer) and works out well for all involved -- except you, the sweetheart professional.
For you, the arrangement is stressful and trying and leads to major job dissatisfaction. Here's why:
You probably don't know Dave Carroll, but you definitely know what happened to him. He's the guy who took a United Airlines flight from Halifax to Nebraska with a connection at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, only to sit on the tarmac there and watch the baggage crew fling his -- WAIT! I'll let him explain it ...
That video has over 1.5 million views on Youtube (1,556,231 to be exact) and counting. When the video first debuted in 2009, Carroll's plight was picked up by every major news outlet worldwide, from the big four of CBS, ABC, NBC and FOX to 24 hour news networks like CNN, MSNBC and FOX News.
"Sometimes things live on the internet and they get their 10 million hits, but it's only there," says Carroll. "United Breaks Guitars was happening at the same time and both sides, the traditional media side and the online viral component, were working to fan the flames of each other, so it became a worldwide traditional media story and a worldwide viral hit at the same time, which was intense."
The whole crazy story is chronicled in Carroll's new book, United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media along with the beginnings of his new company Gripevine. Gripevine is a website where people can post their customer complaints which are forwarded past frontline customer service reps to the executives who can do something about it. These executives then get an opportunity to phone the person back and resolve the gripe for them.
It's important to have a good relationship with your bank; after all, you're entrusting it with your life's savings, investments and debts -- and paying fees to boot. Luckily for Canadians, we've an array of good banks. But which one should you choose?
In terms of general customer satisfaction, credit union customers are Canada's happiest bankers, according to a Financial Post article based on a poll of more than 2,000 adults compiled by Forum Research in March. The poll shows that 74% of credit union members are "very satisfied" with their institution.
Among the big banks, Bank of Montreal has the highest percentage of happy customers, with 72% saying they are "very satisfied" with the service they receive. But not all banks perform so well.
There is an art to getting what you want. I have a friend who never pays full price for anything. He always gets upgraded at hotels, free bottles of wine with dinner, and discounts on his home entertainment packages. He's a keen bargainer and an even better complainer.
Most people, including me, would not be able to pull off what this friend of mine can. It involves digging your heels in and sounding very authoritative about your complaint, even if you are in the wrong.
While my pal sometimes goes a little too far and resorts to rudeness, his behaviour is counter-balanced by another friend of mine who doesn't go far enough. After being robbed in Peru and stranded there without a passport for three months, her insurance company has now 'forgotten' to process the claim -- twice!