Customer service includes basic courtesy

By Kimberly Marion

Students with jobs often complain that customers do not treat them with respect. However, lately I have been running into just the opposite – I have been meeting people who have no customer service skills at all.

Just last week, I was waiting in line for dinner and instead of hearing “How can I help you?,” I hear “What you want?”

What I want is a little respect. Do not place the blame on me because you are at a job you dislike.

What’s even worse is when there is a line of people waiting to order and the person behind the counter holds an entire conversation about what he or she did on the weekend. I am not asking you to fan me and put peeled grapes in my mouth, and I am also not asking you to you to cut my meat and dab the corners of my mouth. All I want is the order I politely asked for.

I do recognize that there are some customers who have the tendency to be rude, but there still must be some type of polite customer service. You could think about it in a different manner and ponder where you would be without the job you have. I know where you would be: You would be broke, just like me.

As usual, I have some tips that can cut down the tension between the customer and the employee.

The first piece of advice I have is that if you are an employee, any problems you have in your daily life cannot affect your job. It is understandable that you may have a bad day. Who has not had a bad day? The difference is that you cannot take your frustrations out on the customer who is paying for your products and services.

The second tip I have is try to find something about your job that you enjoy. Perhaps, if you are not financially dependent on the job – meaning paying rent and bills – do not waste your time or your employer’s time with a bad attitude. Just quit the job and find something more suitable to your needs. Do not make your misery the customer’s company.

Another suggestion would be to treat people as you would like to be treated. That is one of the most simple rules. It is so simple that we have been taught it since we were young children. If you would not like someone rudely asking what you want or blatantly ignoring you, then do not do those things to the customers.

To earn respect, you have to show respect and you have to respect yourself. That includes the job that you do.

All it takes is “Hi. How can I help you?” or “What can I do for to you today?” As a (now pleased) customer, I would say “Thank you.”

Respect is what everyone thinks they deserve but are, at times, unwilling to give. As we live in this fast-paced world, patience wears thin quickly and manners disintegrate into mumbles under people’s breath. Respect is something hard to come by these days.

Columns reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the Northern Star staff.