Customer Service and an Insensitive Colleague

We all have our own share of horror stories about Customer Service. We complain about poor customer service experiences in banks, restaurants, government offices, shopping malls, etc. The complaints I usually encounter arise from transactions with other companies. A recent experience however taught me that poor customer service is more rampant in our nearest surrounding, the workplace.

All offices have internal and external clients. External clients are comprised of people who serve as the lifeblood of the company. They are the real customers who bring income to the company. Internal clients are formed by our own colleagues.  Accept it or not, we depend to a certain extent to our colleagues to sustain our operations.  

I used to work at the Research Department of a private company. Researches depend heavily on data from inside and outside the company. In securing data, we need to coordinate with other departments. And honestly, this is not an easy task.  Irony of ironies, it is sometimes easier for us to obtain data from external organizations.  While it would take us a few days to receive data from other companies, some of our colleagues would give us fake promises and deadlines. Chasing with endless follow ups was always the name of the game.

A friend’s recent experience with a new colleague prompted me to write this post. My friend has been hearing a lot of not-so-good stories about this new colleague. Most of the complaints pointed to her poor customer service skills. She was particularly criticized for rendering poor phone etiquette, uttering sarcastic responses on inquiries, and projecting her signature intimidating face.

My friend had the chance to personally transact business with this new colleague. My friend admits that her impression over this colleague has been stained by all those negative stories. My friend however gave her a fair chance. She courteously approached the new colleague and related her concern. True enough, my friend has now her own share of notorious story from this new colleague.

When my friend handed her document, the new colleague responded by staring at her from head to foot.  My friend returned a friendly smile though she started to feel irritated. As soon as the new colleague type words from her computer, she gave a rude and disturbing laugh. The new colleague later on told her immediate supervisor that she was having an online chat with a friend.

The new colleague didn’t render her trademarked face or utter a sarcastic remark. My friend however was introduced to a different form of poor customer service.  We don’t need to present principles to establish that the act of this new colleague is an offensive foul in the field of Customer Management. Making a boisterous laugh in front of a client is the lowest of low in customer service. Who would not feel humiliated if someone suddenly bursts a laugh on your face? Her resume reveal overpowering awards and credentials. But in reality, she never had the brains to live and understand Customer Service.

Two words for this new colleague, fix yourself! The organization hired you because they believed that you are a potential asset. The situation however manifests that you are becoming more of a liability.  You are causing distress and stress to the working environment. The organization has already enough issues and concerns, please don’t add to the burden.