You know who's awesome? Customer service people. I realize that statement is bound to ruffle the feathers of some of you all out there. After all, there's nothing the Twitterverse enjoys hating on more is crappy customer service. As Amber Naslund has pointed out in several tweets and even a recent post, there isn't enough content out there about customer service or businesses going out of their way to right the wrongs done to us as the paying customer.
Now I know some places aren't great for customer service. After all, how many ticket desks at airports or phone calls with tech support have we been on where we've been blown off or received crappy attitudes as a response to our cries for help? Taking a look at the other side of the coin, it may be more than meets the eye than just that individual being a jerk. Here's a couple of reasons:
It's been said that how you treat your front-line employees is how they'll treat your customers. There's a good chance that the horrible customer service reps that you are speaking with aren't treated the best behind the scenes. How would you expect someone to perform to their potential for an organization that doesn't treat them well?
Think about it: who actually calls customer service to tell someone "Good job!" "You're awesome, keep up the good work!" More people call to complain. Everyone has a problem that they demand to have fixed...NOW. Think about it...a full work day of negative vibes coming your way. A full day of answering the same questions over and over and over again until you're blue in the face. Answering some of the dumbest questions all day. What would your patience level look like after eight hours of that?
They also go through a whole day of being held personally responsible for their company policies. If a customer disagrees with a policy that a company has, more often than not they hold whoever is on the other end of that phone/webchat personally responsible for that decision. Imagine having a full day of finger-pointing thrown at you - justified or not that'll wear someone down.
Now I've done my fair share of complaining and have had some terrible customer service experiences...with no effort by that company to make things fair. Sometimes that's how things play out and it sucks.
However, before you bite the head off of another customer service individual or flood the tweet stream on how bad someone sucks, give the company a chance to make things right. Try empathizing and working with the person on the other end of customer service to a good solution to your problem. You may surprise yourself on how much friendlier those "jerks at customer service" may be...and how much better you're likely to be treated yourself.