Do you ever feel a bit sad when you have to hang up on a wonderful customer service agent at the end of a call? Have you ever had to spend 3+ hours on a technical call with a company and felt a lot of positivity in the interaction? Sometimes, I enjoy chatting with the customer service reps so much that I’m genuinely sorry to have to say goodbye and hang up on them.
I suppose this is nothing new for me. I once spent days chatting with an army recruiter. In the end, we came to realize that my then anxiety disorder would prevent me from being placed in the stations we thought I might fit (i.e. my anxiety disorder then prevented me from being able to leave my near-Home vicinity). It was going to have been some kind of technical work. This was post-college and I didn’t care what I did with my life at that point; I would not “normally” wish to join an establishment that intentionally kills other humans.
Good customer service reps are well able to chat with you and establish a personal-feeling connection. Other reps go overboard — you know the ones who call you and instantly begin to chat with you as if you are old buddies. Sorry, buddy, that’s not how this works. That’s how you get others to resent you because you are being invasive. They are more the sales cold-calls people.
But even with them, some are quite friendly and you can learn a lot about the area where they live if you have an extra minute and don’t mind that they are offering a product. But alas, you must also learn the techniques of a firm “no” or else you will be placed on the “call-back-every-week” list.
I’ve even had a customer service rep from a company I happened to purchase a product from via Amazon call and chat and we hit it off so well, we ended up emailing additional information several times, about the towns where we live.
I love a positive social exchange. I want to learn all of the social rules and etiquette I can cram into my brain so that talking with others is always so smooth. It’s easy with a good customer service rep because they are well trained socially and even the major technical issues we’re working through can often be resolved without either party becoming frustrated by the process. And it’s easy for me to separate out a bad company policy from a bad customer service rep. At least some company feedback surveys allow you to differentiate, so you can express your frustration with the company policies without maligning a good customer service rep.
Anyway, the next time you have to make that call because some service you pay for is not functioning as it should or whatever it may be, feel free to let yourself enjoy the process a little bit.