Back in the day when I wasn’t so gentle with customer service folks I had an encounter with a customer service rep on the phone with whom I was having a difficult time with. I wasn’t thinking straight and she stepped on my last nerve; well, actually that wasn’t the only person who stepped on me that day.
The Holy Spirit stepped on my toes that day as well. I can still remember the talking to I got. “Is that how you want to be treated?” Ouch, that hurt and echoed in my mind and heart for a very long time.
Think about it, when you are talking with customer service, especially over the phone, you don’t know what the person is dealing with, you can’t see their facial expressions or their non-verbal communication (yes, my undergrad degree is in Professional Communications which I obtained way after this encounter); you can only hear their voice. And depending on your own frame of mind, you are not listening, to hear the change of tone in their voice, the struggle they are having to answer your question to the best of their ability.
We try so hard to do right, to treat others as we would like to be treated; but, sometimes we FAIL. I still FAIL, and every time I step out of bounds with customer service I get conviction.
The morning I started writing this I read Mathew 26:41 “Now maybe you’re learning: the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Watch and pray and take care that you are not pulled down during a time of testing” (The Voice). IF we know we are going to have a challenging discussion with customer service, or anyone, we/I need to pray before calling. Because, contrary to the norm, the customer; you know…you and me; are not always right. I can’t help but fall back to the adage “treat others are you would want to be treated”.
Remember, everyone deserves the same respect, the same gentleness, love, care, that we ourselves, desire. Customer service, whether on the phone or in-person deserve that respect as anyone else. How we treat them is a reflection on where our heart is with the Lord.