07 January 2008

The Customer might be Right

If there's something that I've always cared about, it's good customer service. Most of my jobs have been in customer service to some degree. Actually, if you think about it, all jobs are customer service, whether you're dealing with internal or external customers. Just sayin.

Can you remember some of the customer service training you've had in your working days? Did you prefer the dry, serious stuff, or the more fun, animated, interactive trainings? I always hated role-playing in live training things. There's nothing to make you feel like a dork like 'faking' your job with a dozen other people that can also do it in their sleep. Ugh.

If you really want to appreciate even bad customer service in the United States, spend a few weeks in Germany. I don't think they have any customer service training there. Even one of the Germans we met there commented on how far superior the customer service is in the States. And there's some pretty lousy customer service in the States, as we all know!

One of the things that I would have thought indicated poor customer service in Germany was actually complained on by a German in the States. As some of us finished eating at the restaurant in the States, the waitress cleared away some of the empty plates and baskets from appetizers and brought the check. The German was greatly offended and thought she was pushing us out. I explained that she certainly intended no offense. See, in Germany, you literally have to ask for the check when you're finished ("die rechnung, bitte" means "the check, please," but I probably spelled the German part wrong).

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