How many of you have been told “Oh, we are having this conversation” or heard “how dare you” recently? Every day I see a post, see a video, or just hear someone near me utterly shocked that someone wouldn’t do what they want them to. I’m sure you’ve seen me say it, or just guessed, but the vast majority of my work experience in the last 26 years is in customer service of some sort, and TRUST ME, even in 1992, the world was barreling toward what we have today. Imagine the following scenarios/conversations and see if you can guess how they ended:
1 – Hotel front desk receives a call about a drunk causing trouble in the hotel bar from the off duty law enforcement officer providing convention security. Agent confirms the drunk is a guest, so the cop just takes the drunk to their room to sleep it off rather than ticket/arrest them. Next morning, this guest assaults the front desk when told they will not give the cop’s name, then it’s found the guest destroyed over $2000 worth of property in the room.
2 – Support rep receives a report of an error, must ask for the error 10 times before they’re told what the error is. They advise the customer it will take a few minutes to research, during which the customer repeats, almost without stopping to breathe, “I need an answer, why aren’t you helping me, what are you doing, I need this fixed, you’re just stalling, I’m going to report you” and more. After about 5 minutes, the agent states they have found the cause and gives step by step, literally mouse click by mouse click, instructions on how to resolve the issue. The customer then repeats, more than 10 times, “but I need this fixed” until the agent says, (verbatim) “I am sorry if I was not clear, but I have tested this and I am just not allowed to edit your data, you just need to use the steps I gave above and it will fix your issue”
3 – Waiter takes food to a table, and is told that it’s not correct. The waiter asks what isn’t correct, only to be told “You know damn well what isn’t correct, now fix it.” Waiter is flustered as it’s not their table, so they didn’t take the order, they just delivered the food, and the manager can see this and comes over. Guest again say “this idiot knows good and damn well what he screwed up and won’t fix it.” The Manager, angrily, states that the waiter standing there red faced did not take their order, but rather a young woman, who is a foot shorter and blonde, did, so they should apologize or leave.
So, what do you think the responses were to each of these?
1 – The drunk actually sued the hotel for “allowing him to be beaten up” then tried to say he didn’t agree to video from security cameras being shown in court. The judge overruled his objection, and he lost.
2 – Customer complained about “rude” rep, only to demand the CEO of the company when told “I’ve listened to the call and you had to be asked multiple times for the error, you then berated the agent as they were testing, which they told you would take a few minutes, you then ignored direct instructions on how to resolve your issue.” That manager then advised the agent to hang up on that person if they get them again.
3 – Waiter was reported for racism, and HR actually sided with the guest saying “you could have explained you didn’t take their order a bit more gently” and didn’t understand when asked “how is saying, I’m very sorry, but I wasn’t the server that took your order, I’ll be happy to fix any issues you can point out.”
So, can you still say, for certain, we aren’t headed for a society where just breathing within 100 yards of someone can offend them and get you arrested, or shot?