It’s highly unlikely that the person who said this to me the other day will ever read my blog and telling details will be left out so the conversation won’t be very identifiable.
“You’re lucky I didn’t post this on (insert name of some kind of review type website here)”
I work in an industry where customer service is key. I do my very best to meet the needs of the customers in front of me. I fail sometimes, miserably. This particular situation is awful because there is more involved here than I can share.
I’ll come back to this in a moment. WordPress has a feature called Reader where blogs I like are pulled in and show up in my feed. The blogs I read are quilting, faith, and other things I find interesting. This morning I read Kindness is Taught at Home, then The Bloggess always has something interesting to say, and then I read this blog. The trend I see is kindness. Kindness to others, and as importantly kindness to self. Kindness goes a long, long way and is essentially a healing balm. Kindness smooths the way making a relationship easier.
It is not lost on me in any way that Customer Service is a relationship, often short, sometimes it’s longer depending on the product, or type of store. While I do my best, I know full well that I can not please everyone all the time. Sometimes there is no attempt at kindness, no building I can do that will help the situation. The other person in this relationship (the customer) will not allow it, no matter what the circumstances are in that moment, there’s nothing that I can do that is expected, or right.
I’ve had negative comments written about me on a particular review site. It’s gutting. And I see clearly how that review can have a negative impact on a business. There is always more to the story and that more may be essential to understanding something key going on. Review sites give one side. It’s skewed. And sometimes it’s downright hurtful. So when this person told me that I was lucky that the review didn’t end up on said review site I did have an immediate gut reaction that, thankfully, didn’t make it past my lips.
The entire situation will not make it so any social media outlet that I use, on a daily basis.
What will make it to my social media outlets?
Kindness. Remember that the people who own, and work in any kind of retail business are people. While they may have engaging personalities and can be quite fun, they have limits as well. Sometimes the “person staring at a computer screen ignoring me” is trying desperately to place an order for other customers and doesn’t want anything to slip through her fingers. Perhaps this person working is dealing with some stressful issues and while they don’t want to bring it to work, the stress lives right below the surface and sometimes it bubbles up. Perhaps the person working needs to use the facilities, or eat. I could go on.
Kindness flows both ways.
Kindness is the light that allows us to see there is more there, even though we don’t know the details.
Kindness allows us to see that the store is busy and we may not get the personalized attention that we may feel we deserve.
Kindness is a balm that soothes rough relationships.